LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Project Neon, the project to widen interstate 15 from Sahara to the spaghetti bowl, has been given the green light.
Thousands of commuters travel I-15 through the spaghetti bowl every day. To help relieve traffic woes, state senators voted on the I-15 corridor to be expanded to 16 lanes. A public works project this size hasn’t been undertaken by Nevada since the construction of Hoover Dam.
One lawmaker, state assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, voted against the plan. She says this is because the Nevada Department of Transportation has proposed a new financing plan: a public-private partnership.
“This is a totally new model that we've never done before and that's what gives me pause,” Assemblywoman Carlton said. “Because these are complicated deals anyway, and then when you change it around it makes it a little even more complicated.”
The state legislature's interim finance committee approved a request by NDOT to issue the $100 million in bonds so they can buy right-of-ways. Lawmakers say the project will also create jobs
“Project Neon will create 6,000 - 7,000 badly-needed construction jobs here in Nevada,” said State Senator Michael Roberson. “We cannot wait. The longer we wait the longer this gets pushed off.”
Because of the new public-private partnership, the freeway construction will get done sooner rather than later, with hopes that the project will be built in 6-10 years.