Las Vegas Beltway

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I-215 (NV).svgClark County Route 215 NV.svg

Las Vegas Beltway
Bruce Woodbury Beltway
Route information
Maintained by Nevada DOT and Clark Co. Public Works
Length: 51 mi[2] (81 km)
NDOT maintains 4.628 miles (7.448 km) of I-215[1]
Existed: 1996 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑515 / US 93 / US 95 / SR 564 in Henderson
  I‑15 in Enterprise
Summerlin Pkwy in Las Vegas
US 95 in Las Vegas
North end: I‑15 / US 93 in North Las Vegas
Highway system
  • Highways in Nevada
SR 208 SR 221

The Las Vegas Beltway (officially named the Bruce Woodbury Beltway) is the name of the 50.5-mile (81.3 km) beltway route circling three-quarters of the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada. The Las Vegas Beltway carries two numerical designations. Approximately 11.1 miles (17.9 km) of the highway, from its southern terminus at Interstate 515/U.S. Route 93/U.S. Route 95 in Henderson west and northwest to Interstate 15, is signed as Interstate 215 (I-215); however, only two distinct portions of this section (I-515 to Stephanie Street and Warm Springs Road to I-15), totaling a little over 4.6 miles (7.4 km), are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation.[1] Clark County Route 215 (CC 215) composes the remaining 39.2 miles (63.1 km) of this semi-circumferral highway, with the county's Department of Public Works responsible for all construction and maintenance (the county also maintains the 6.7-mile (10.8 km) middle section of the aforementioned southeast leg signed as I-215).

The Las Vegas Beltway currently consists of two different road types: freeway and an interim expressway. The beltway is currently a freeway from the I-515 interchange in Henderson to just north of Cheyenne Avenue in western Las Vegas. The remainder of the beltway is primarily expressway, with several sections currently being upgraded to Interstate freeway standards.

The Beltway was planned and constructed by Clark County. This marked the first time in the United States that a county has overseen the construction of an Interstate highway with little to no state or federal funding. Once completely upgraded to freeway, it is anticipated that the CC 215 portion of the beltway will be designated I-215 and the entire facility turned over to the Nevada Department of Transportation for maintenance.

The part of the beltway designated as CC-215 has the distinction of being not only the only signed county road in Clark County, but also of being the only county road in the nation that is a freeway.

Route description[edit]

Beginning of CC 215, as viewed from the I-15 southbound overpass

The Las Vegas Beltway begins in Henderson, at the I-515/US 93/US 95 interchange, where traffic on westbound State Route 564 (Lake Mead Parkway) defaults onto I-215 west. From here, the beltway primarily follows the former Lake Mead Drive alignment west to the Pecos Road/Saint Rose Parkway (SR 146) interchange. The highway then curves northwest towards McCarran International Airport before turning west to cross under Las Vegas Boulevard and I-15.

As the beltway passes under I-15, it changes from Interstate to county highway still maintaining freeway status as it heads nearly due west. Passing Decatur Boulevard, two one-way frontage roads (which formerly carried the initial beltway facilities) appear on either side of the highway. At Durango Drive, the roadway curves northward. The frontage roads end as the highway reaches Tropicana Avenue, but the freeway continues briefly west and then north again to intersect Charleston Boulevard (SR 159) near Red Rock Canyon. As it passes north through the community of Summerlin (part of the city of Las Vegas), it meets the Summerlin Parkway freeway at a recently upgraded system interchange.

The beltway downgrades from freeway to an expressway (with some grade separations) after it passes the Cheyenne Avenue/Cliff Shadows Parkway interchange. From here, the road continues north along the western foothills of Las Vegas to pass behind Lone Mountain. Soon afterward, the highway curves east and intersects US 95 at a yet to be upgraded partial interchange. From there the beltway continues nearly due east along the alignment of Centennial Parkway before entering northern North Las Vegas at Decatur Boulevard. From there it swings northeast, passing by the large Aliante development before turning east again. Much of the final few miles of the route from here on are in undeveloped land, except near the interchange at 5th Street, with intersections existing primarily as turnarounds, until the beltway swings southeast just past Lamb Boulevard and reaches its ending terminus at I-15 just west of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

History[edit]

AASHTO approved the I-215 designation for approximately 18.9 miles (30.4 km) of (then unbuilt) highway, from Tropicana Avenue to US 95 (I-515) on April 17, 1993.[3] As eventually built, this specific portion of the beltway is 19.59 miles (31.53 km) in length.

The southwest corner of CC 215 under construction, as seen from the air in early 2006. The two frontage roads initially carried mainline traffic until the freeway was completed later that year.

Much of the beltway was built completely with local funds, and expressway to freeway upgrades have continued to be built without state or federal money (except for the I-515 interchange upgrade). A tax measure voted on by the County residents increased funding for the beltway. As a result, it was expected to be fully upgraded to a freeway by 2013, rather than the previous goal of 2025.[citation needed] However, at present it appears that this target date will slip back at least a few years.

The first section of I-215 opened to traffic in 1996 from I-15 to Warm Springs Road, including the Airport Connector and tunnel, which linked McCarran International Airport to southern metro Las Vegas without requiring motorists to use Tropicana Avenue or Russell Road to access the main passenger terminal. The southeast leg of the beltway (except for the I-515 connection) was completed ahead of schedule in 1999, while the northern end was extended from Decatur Boulevard in 1998 to Tropicana Avenue by 2000. The remaining sections in the western and northern legs of the beltway were completed by 2003 – either in their final, full freeway mode or in one of two lesser interim configurations.

I-215 was built on the State Route 146 alignment between a point just east of Exit 6 (Saint Rose Parkway/Pecos Road) and Mile 0 (the Interstate 515/U.S. Route 93/U.S. Route 95 interchange at Lake Mead Parkway, formerly known as Lake Mead Drive). Since the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) does not co-sign state routes along Interstate highways, SR 146 was truncated to its current eastern terminus at I-215. SR 146 was co-signed with I-215 from Pecos Road to I-515/US 93/US 95, even though the state highway designation no longer existed in this section when the freeway was completed. Some SR 146 signs were still remaining on I-215 as late as July 27, 2008.

In 2003, the entire 50.5-mile (81.3 km) long beltway was opened, albeit with three different road types – freeway, limited access expressway, and as interim frontage roads – with all the newly opened sections being designated as County Route 215. On August 9, 2006 a section of freeway was completed that allowed the connection of two previously built freeway portions. This meant a continuous stretch of road consisting of about half the road's overall mileage, from the I-515/SR 564 terminus to Charleston Boulevard, was now completed to freeway standards.

Roads & Bridges magazine, a national publication that provides technology news and information to the transportation construction industry, named the Las Vegas Beltway as one of the nation's Top Ten Road Projects in 2002.

At the Board of County Commission meeting on March 2, 2004, the beltway was renamed as the Bruce Woodbury Beltway.[2] The Board approved a resolution recognizing Commissioner Woodbury for his many years and efforts in the future of transportation in the valley.

Recent and future improvements[edit]

Construction of the North 5th Street Interchange was completed and fully opened to traffic in September 2011. The project's scope included roadway, bridge, drainage and utility improvements along the northern beltway at the intersection of North 5th Street in North Las Vegas. Beginning in 2012, construction by the Clark County Department of Public Works will include the build-out of another northern beltway segment between Tenaya Way and Decatur Boulevard. The project, which should take about two years to complete, will widen CC 215 to four-lanes, build two new highway interchanges at Jones and Decatur Boulevards and a new bridge to carry Bradley Road over the freeway. Improvements to the beltway are also underway in the southern region of the valley with a plan to upgrade I-215 between I-15 and Windmill Lane. This project will provide one additional travel lane in each direction, auxiliary lanes between interchanges and include the widening of four bridges over I-215 at Paradise, Warm Springs, and Robindale roads as well as for the Airport Connector.[4]

The $116 million 215 Northern Beltway Widening Project, which launched in April 2012, has been making steady progress since, including completion of the Bradley Road overpass in May 2013, and Clark County officials say crews are on track for project completion in May 2014 with punch list items done in June 2014.
Once completed, drivers will have Jones Boulevard and Decatur Boulevard as new Beltway interchanges and a widened four-lane freeway between Tenaya Way and Decatur Boulevard. Motorists will then enjoy seven miles of open freeway between U.S. 95 and Losee Road.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Clark County.

Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Henderson 0.00 0.00 SR 564 (Lake Mead Parkway) Continuation beyond southern terminus
0.00 0.00 1 I‑515 / US 93 / US 95 – Las Vegas, Boulder City Southern terminus; System interchange conversion completed 2006
2 Gibson Road Opened April 29, 2000;[3] interchange completed in 2006
3A Stephanie Street Signed as exit 3 eastbound
3B Valle Verde Drive
5 Green Valley Parkway
6 SR 146 west (Saint Rose Parkway) / Pecos Road
Paradise 7 Eastern Avenue
8 Windmill Lane
9 Warm Springs Road
10 Sunset Road, McCarran Airport Unsigned McCarran Airport Connector/SR 171; opened December 31, 1995[3]
Enterprise 11 Las Vegas Boulevard Eastbound exit splits from exit 12B
12 I‑15 – Las Vegas, Los Angeles Signed as 12A (north) to Las Vegas Strip & Downtown Las Vegas and 12B (south)
Interstate 215 ends / Clark County Route 215 (CC-215) begins
13 Decatur Boulevard
14 Jones Boulevard Opened November 11, 1999[5]
15 Rainbow Boulevard Opened November 11, 1999[5]
Spring Valley 16 Buffalo Drive Opened in 2006
17 Durango Drive, Sunset Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; opened in 2006
Cardinal Direction change: South Leg (West-East) ends / West Leg (North-South) begins
18 Sunset Road, Durango Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance; opened in 2006
19 Russell Road Opened in 2006
20 Tropicana Avenue Opened in 2006
21 Flamingo Road
Summerlin South 23 Town Center Drive SPUI opened in 2005
25 Sahara Avenue Opened in 2000[5]
26 SR 159 (Charleston Boulevard) – Red Rock Canyon Opened in 2000[5]
Las Vegas 27 Far Hills Avenue Interchange constructed late 2009
28 Summerlin Parkway Reconstructed as system interchange late 2009
29 Lake Mead Boulevard SPUI (completed August 2008;[6][7] opened November 21, 2008[8])
30 Cheyenne Avenue, Cliff Shadows Parkway Interchange opened October 30, 2007[9]
End freeway & begin expressway
Lone Mountain Road
Lone Mountain Ann Road
Cardinal Direction change: West Leg (North-South) ends / North Leg (East-West) begins
35 Hualapai Way Interchange opened in 2003
37 Durango Drive Interchange
Las Vegas Oso Blanca Road Temporary intersection; access to southbound US 95
US 95 – Las Vegas, Tonopah, Reno Interchange (interim configuration); direct access only from northbound US 95 to westbound CC-215
Sky Point Drive Temporary intersection; access to Buffalo Drive, Centennial Parkway, and US 95 north
40 Jones Boulevard Interchange opened 2014
Bradley Road Former temporary intersection; Bridge over CC 215 opened May 13, 2013
41 Decatur Boulevard Interchange opened 2013
North Las Vegas 43 Aliante Parkway Interchange opened 2008
Revere Street Future interchange[10][11]
46 North 5th Street Eastbound ramps opened in 2009 and full interchange completed in September 2011
Losee Road Temporary intersection; opened in 2006
Pecos Road Temporary intersection; opened in 2006
Lamb Boulevard Temporary intersection; opened in 2006
Range Road
I‑15 / US 93 – Las Vegas, Ely, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City Northern terminus; Interchange (interim configuration)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Description and Maps – Quarterly Changes (April, May, June). Nevada Department of Transportation. July 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Department of Public Works. "Bruce Woodbury Beltway". Clark County. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "I-215 Nevada". 3-Digit Interstates. kurumi.com. Retrieved July 24, 2007. 
  4. ^ Staff. "Clark County 215 Beltway". Clark County. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Las Vegas Beltway". Western Roads. AARoads. Retrieved July 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ McCabe, Francis (July 16, 2008). "Road Warrior Q&A: Interchange opening moved up to 2010". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media, LLC). Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  7. ^ "An interchange collecting dust" (Editorial). Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media, LLC). August 3, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Lake Mead-Beltway interchange opens". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media, LLC). 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  9. ^ 8 News Now at 5. Las Vegas, NV: KLAS-TV. October 30, 2007. 
  10. ^ Department of Public Works. "Beltway construction continues" (PDF). Clark County. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2007. [dead link]
  11. ^ McCabe, Francis (2009-03-25). "Road Warrior: Fifth Street bridging Beltway". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media, LLC). Retrieved 2009-04-08. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing