In order to create and sustain economic growth in Nevada, the state will need to move forward with critically needed transportation projects that would build, expand or modernize roads, highways, bridges, mass transit systems and other transportation facilities. A new report identifies the 25 most needed transportation improvements to support economic development in Nevada. The report, “Keeping Nevada Connected: Future Mobility in the Silver State,” was released by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.- based national transportation organization.
TRIP ranked each transportation project based on the following: short-term economic benefits, including job creation; the level of improvement in the condition of the transportation facility, including safety improvements; the degree of improvement in access and mobility; and the long-term improvement provided in regional or state economic performance and competitiveness.
Nevada’s 15 most needed transportation improvements to support economic development in the state as determined by TRIP follow. A description of the 25 most needed transportation projects in Nevada to support the state’s future are listed in the report.
- Continued expansion and modernization of portions of I-15 in the Las Vegas area. These improvements include portions from Sahara Avenue to I-15/US 95 (Spaghetti Bowl), from Craig Road to Apex, from St. Rose Parkway to Sunset Road, and from Blue Diamond to Tropicana Avenue.
- Construction of new Interstate highway corridor from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The construction of I-11 from Phoenix and Las Vegas, starting with initial portions of the project from Hoover Dam Road to US 93/US 95 Interchange in Boulder City.
- Improved I-215/Airport Connector interchange in Las Vegas area. A two-mile, I-215/Airport Connector interchange improvement is needed to ease congestion and improve regional connectivity.
- Widening of portions of I-80 in Reno. Widen portions of I-80 in the Reno, Sparks and Truckee area to between 6 to 10 lanes in different sections and also incorporating multiple traffic interchange improvements.
- Redevelopment of corridor from airport to downtown in Las Vegas. Redevelop the Maryland Parkway corridor between McCarran International Airport and downtown Las Vegas with complete street enhancements and a center-running transit system that utilizes either Bus Rapid Transit or Light Rail.
- Las Vegas Valley Eastern Bypass. The construction of an Eastern Bypass from the I-15/CC-215 northern interchange to US 95 will provide a southern truck bypass route from Utah to Arizona, relieving congestion on other area highways.
- Addition of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on portion of I-215 in Las Vegas area. Addition of one HOV lane in each direction on portion of I-215 from I-515 to Summerlin Parkway.
- Widening McCarran Boulevard in the Reno area. Widen the entire stretch of McCarran Boulevard in the Reno Area from four to six lanes to relieve congestion.
- Widening of the southern segment of I-15. Widen I-15 from the California state line to the Southern Beltway from four to six lanes.
- Widening of I-80 from Reno to Winnemucca. Widen I-80 from Reno to Winnemucca by adding an additional lane in each direction.
- Widening of portion of SR 225 in Northern Nevada. Widen SR 225 by adding one lane in each direction from I-80 to Idaho state line to improve safety and enhance economic development opportunities in this corridor.
- Improve portions of SR 445 Pyramid Highway in Reno area. Needed improvements include converting the existing arterial road from Calle De La Plata to Disc Drive to a 6-lane freeway, building a new 6-lane freeway from the Disc area west to US 395 and extending Disc Drive east from Pyramid to Vista as a 6-lane arterial road.
- East Truckee Canyon/Spanish Springs new route in Reno area. A six-lane freeway connecting the east end of Sparks with east I-80 at about the Patrick Interchange.
- Provide inland port facilities in Northern and Southern Nevada. Providing intermodal rail and highway inland port facilities will enhance economic development opportunities in Nevada by increasing the efficiency of goods movement and increasing the attractiveness of the region for distribution facilities and manufacturing.
- Provide rail passenger service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Provide passenger rail passenger service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas to relieve congestion on this heavily traveled corridor.
“Our members of Congress need to understand how many people back here are counting on federal transportation investments,” said Guy Martin, vice president of Las Vegas-based Martin-Harris Construction and the president of the Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas. “Investing in roads, bridges and transit facilities not only makes our broader economy more efficient and vibrant, it puts a lot of men and women to work here in Las Vegas and across the country.”
The efficiency of Nevada’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs.
“Nevada’s transportation system is the backbone of the state’s economy,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Unless Congress acts this year to adequately fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund, Nevada is going to see its federal funding decrease dramatically starting this summer. As a result, these critically needed transportation projects may remain stranded on the drawing board.”