LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and partners received a $6 million grant to expand emerging technologies on Las Vegas freeways.
The five-mile expansion will extend west of downtown Las Vegas between I-15 and Summerlin Parkway on U.S. 95, a critical corridor that carries approximately 230,000 vehicles daily.
These technologies will help enhance safety by mitigating congestion, decreasing the number of crashes, reducing travel time and increasing the overall efficiency of the freeway.
The $6 million in funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program.
The ATCMTD program funds early deployments of forward-looking technologies that can serve as national models.
“It is essential that we prioritize safety and efficiency on the roadways that Nevadans rely on every day to get to work and home to their families,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). “This grant will fund emerging technologies on freeways in Las Vegas to improve traffic management, prevent car accidents, and inform first responders of incidents as quickly as possible. I’m proud to have advocated for this vital transportation funding, and I’ll continue to prioritize the safety of Nevadans across the state.”
Some technologies that will be deployed along U.S. 95 include wrong-way sensors that alert drivers immediately if they’re traveling in the wrong direction; occupancy detection sensors in HOV lanes that collect data to reduce congestion and emissions; and overhead signs that warn motorists about incidents, speed reduction and lane closures ahead to mitigate crashes resulting from sudden braking.
“As the traffic management agency for the region, it is essential that we continue to collaborate with the state and local governments and our university to employ emerging technologies to improve safety, mitigate traffic and help save lives,” said M.J. Maynard, RTC chief executive officer. “This grant will enable us to work closely with our long-standing partners to expand our footprint in informing motorists, emergency responders and traffic technicians about incidents in real-time. We are grateful to our federal delegation and community partners for their continued support of these efforts, as we all work together to reduce the number and severity of crashes on our valley’s roadways.”
“NDOT is committed to leveraging every tool available, including emergency technologies, to further our mission of making Nevada safe and connected,” said NDOT Director Kristina Swallow. “NDOT is proud to work with its local, state, and federal partners in finding creative and high-tech solutions to improve driver efficiency and traffic flows while reducing secondary crashes.”
The project is a partnership among the RTC, NDOT, Nevada Highway Patrol, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and technology company Waycare.
The FHWA evaluated 46 applications requesting more than $205 million and awarded $49.6 million to 10 projects nationwide.
The expansion of the existing project is estimated to cost approximately $15 million, with a 60-percent local and 40-percent federal split.
ATCMTD was established under the “Fixing America's Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act.
State departments of transportation, local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and other eligible entities were invited to apply under the program.
This year, in addition to intelligent transportation system technologies, to reduce congestion, the ATCMTD grants will fund projects that support autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.
Now in its fifth year, the program has funded more than 45 projects worth $256 million.