LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada Department of Transportation opened 22 miles of HOV lanes on US-95 and I-15 Monday. These lanes are connected by an HOV flyover that has signaled the final stretch of major work for Project Neon.
It has taken NDOT 20 years and nearly a billion dollars to almost complete Project Neon - making it the most extensive public works project in Nevada history.
"It's exciting," Tony Illia, NDOT spokesperson said.
He also said there is still work to be done before crews can remove hundreds of orange traffic cones from the interstate and surrounding side streets as the work will include repairs to north and south I-15 where crews ground away one of the HOV lanes.
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Illia also said crews will cover the ground down sections with a crumb rubber asphalt made with recycled tires.
"Crumb rubber gives the asphalt a little bit of a cushion, so it makes for a smoother ride," Illia said. "It also lowers the ambient noise."
However, the crumb rubber asphalt cannot adhere to the roadway when air temperatures aren't above 80 degrees, so that project will have to wait.
NDOT will also be activating 42 next-generation smart signs that can tell motorists which lanes are open in the event of a crash in real time.
Project Neon is projected to be 100 percent complete in the middle of July.