The state’s second-longest bridge opened to traffic Monday morning, providing a much-needed link in the quickly growing northwest valley.
The two-lane flyover ramp connecting U.S. Highway 95 northbound to the 215 Beltway westbound spans 2,654 feet and stands 75 feet tall at its highest point. It’s the latest addition to the $73 million Centennial Bowl project that began in January 2019.
The state’s longest bridge is the 1.6-mile-long U.S. 95 viaduct between Interstate 15 and Eastern Avenue in downtown Las Vegas.
“The exciting thing for motorists is that they will no longer have to navigate surface streets to make the freeway-to-freeway connection,” said Tony Illia, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman. “Previously if you were traveling on the beltway or traveling on 95, you’d have to get off, slow down and stop at traffic signals to make your freeway connection.”
Around 100,000 vehicles travel in the area daily, making it one the busiest areas in the Las Vegas Valley, Illia said.
“That’s only expected to grow in the future,” he added.
The 13-span structure was built with cast-in-place post-tension concrete and features 3 million pounds of steel rebar. It was built by 150 workers.
The speed limit on the flyover ramp is 35 mph.
The project includes building a second, smaller interchange bridge that measures 30 feet tall by 35 feet wide and that will link the Beltway eastbound with U.S. 95 southbound. The south-to-east flyover will be 1,655 feet long and is scheduled to open to traffic next month.
The project’s two large flyovers, which crisscross in midair, sit atop a foundation of 60 drilled piles up to 80 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter.
Other improvements with the project include drainage upgrades and new lighting, landscaping and Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) enhancements. The project is slated to wrap up in December.
The final phase of the Centennial Bowl project is planned to kick off next year and be complete in 2024.
Construction of three additional flyover ramps, widening the Beltway to six lanes in the area and adding surface street connections, are included in the $130 million project.
“Once finished in 2024 the Centennial Bowl will be the largest interchange in the state,” Illia said. “It will consist of 18 bridges over three decks.”