LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman on Thursday again called for the widening of the Interstate 15 between the Nevada state line and Barstow.

Goodman's renewed push comes following Wednesday's announcement that President Joe Biden's administration helped facilitate the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to operate around the clock, seven days a week.

"This is a big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain," said Biden.

Now, weekends are among the times that port activity will be open. Weekends are when the I-15 is often the busiest with congestion.

"This isn't rocket science," said Goodman. "You've got a logjam in the Pacific, of cargo sitting. You need to unload it and then you need to move it. You don't just unload it and let it sit."

It's something she's been trying to get done for years, since she took office in 2011. In July, Goodman tweeted a similar message, urging leaders to fund the expansion of the project.

"This is a no-brainer. This is absolutely not controversial. It's just rational," she said. "The whole country becomes the beneficiary."

But what is causing congestion like this each week on the border, Goodman said, stems from the California side, not the Nevada side.

FOX5 spoke to the California Department of Transportation's communications officials Thursday, and they said they have no plans to fix it. Instead, they are hoping the pending high-speed railway will improve things.

"Currently Caltrans does not have any projects on the books so to speak to build any widening or anything that would address traffic specifically at state line," said Terri Kasinga, chief of public and media affairs for Caltrans.

Goodman hopes to go over California's officials heads by getting Washington involved.

"Only the president has the power to say, 'Yes, we'll have an environmental study,' but 'Yes, I want this done now,' and, 'Yes, I want this done quickly, because of all this freight,'" said Goodman.

She's pleading with Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus get the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on her side with this.

"She is very, very much in leadership for transportation. So my hope is she'll sit down with our Secretary Buttigieg, and then the president, and move this," said Goodman.

Traffic is seen on the I-15


Longtime truck driver and instructor for entry-level drivers Clifton Ellis said it shouldn't take nine hours between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and unfortunately, sometimes it does.

"It's not good for anybody," said Ellis. "When you get to state line, and you get that bottleneck right down, it's terrible."

Particularly on holidays and weekends, added Ellis. And with supply chain issues and shortages felt deeply in Las Vegas, Goodman calls it a "crisis situation."

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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