McCarran Airport Connector

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State Route 171 marker

State Route 171
Airport Spur Connector
Route information
Maintained by NDOT and Clark Co. Public Works
Highway system

Nevada State Routes

SR 170 SR 172

The McCarran Airport Connector (MAC) is a limited-access roadway system located in Paradise, an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas Valley, Clark County, Nevada, USA. Composed of State Route 171 (SR 171), the Airport Tunnel, and arterial streets, the airport connector provides vehicular access to the passenger terminals at McCarran International Airport.

Route description[edit]

The McCarran Airport Connector begins at an interchange with Interstate 215 (exit 10) in Paradise. From there, the route follows unsigned State Route 171 as it transitions to a below-ground freeway alignment. The connector crosses underneath several local streets and a branch line of the Union Pacific Railroad as it heads northward towards the airport. SR 171 encounters a half-diamond interchange with Sunset Road (SR 562) before entering the airport, allowing drivers to shortcut between I-215 and Sunset Road. The state highway designation ends 0.639 miles (1.028 km) north of the interstate interchange at the south portal of the airport tunnel.[1]

The end of State Route 171 is adjacent to the beginning of the Airport Tunnels. A separate tunnel is provided for both northbound and southbound traffic, with a third tunnel in between reserved for future transit use. The tunnels continue northward, crossing under the east–west runways and taxiways of the airport and emerging on the opposite side.

Curving westward after exiting the north portal, the MAC meets the main terminal grounds with ramps providing terminal access to and from the south. The freeway grade road ends with a traffic signal at Russell Road. North of the signal, the connector transitions to a one-way couplet network, with northbound traffic following Swenson Street and southbound traffic using Paradise Road. Another set of ramps provides airport terminal access to and from the north. Finally, the McCarran Airport Connector ends at Tropicana Avenue (SR 593), although the one-way roads continue north for about a mile to Harmon Avenue.

In addition to providing access to the airport, the connector also serves as a shortcut between I-215 and Tropicana Avenue (SR 593) near the Thomas & Mack Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. Also, following the relocation of McCarran Airport's car rental facilities to a new, centralized complex at 7135 Gilespie Street, SR 171 and the tunnel are now used by all shuttle buses carrying customers between the main passenger terminals and the rental car facility.

History[edit]

SR 171 and the Airport Tunnel opened to traffic in 1994, in conjunction with the completion of I-215 between Interstate 15 and Warm Springs Road.[2]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Paradise, Clark County.

Mile km Destinations Notes
0.00 0.00 I‑215 – Henderson, Las Vegas Southern terminus of SR 171 & MAC
0.64 1.03 Sunset Road (SR 562) Northbound exit and southbound entrance; Northern terminus of SR 171
Airport Tunnel
Terminals 1 & 3 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Terminal 3 (Flight Path Avenue)
Russell Road Intersection
Kitty Hawk Way Access to former Terminal 2; Intersection southbound; Northbound exit via Terminal 1 exit
Terminal 1 Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Tropicana Avenue (SR 593) Intersection; Northern terminus of MAC
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ Nevada Department of Transportation (January 2008). Nevada State Maintained Highways: Descriptions, Index and Maps. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. ^ "NDOT News, Spring 2006". Nevada Department of Transportation. 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-19.