Las Vegas Beltway
|Bruce Woodbury Beltway|
|Maintained by NDOT and Clark County Public Works|
|Length:||51 mi (81 km)
NDOT maintains 4.628 miles (7.448 km) of I-215
|Existed:||April 17, 1993 – present|
|CCW end:||I‑515 / US 93 / US 95 / SR 564 in Henderson|
|CW end:||I‑15 / US 93 in North Las Vegas|
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. 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 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.
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. As eventually built, this specific portion of the beltway is 19.59 miles (31.53 km) in length.
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. 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. 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
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.
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.
The entire route is in Clark County.
|Henderson||—||SR 564 east (Lake Mead Parkway)||Continuation beyond eastern terminus|
|0||0||1||I‑515 / US 93 / US 95 – Las Vegas, Boulder City||I-515 exit 61; System interchange conversion completed in 2006|
|2||Gibson Road||Opened on April 29, 2000; interchange completed in 2006|
|3B||Valle Verde Drive|
|5||Green Valley Parkway|
|6||SR 146 west (Saint Rose Parkway) / Pecos Road|
|9||Warm Springs Road|
|10||Sunset Road, McCarran Airport||Unsigned McCarran Airport Connector/SR 171; opened on December 31, 1995|
|Enterprise||11||Las Vegas Boulevard||Eastbound exit is part of exit 12A|
|12||I‑15 – Las Vegas, Los Angeles||Eastern end of CC 215 and western end of I-215; signed as exits 12A (south) and 12B (north) eastbound and as exits 12A (north) and 12B (south) westbound; I-15 exit 34|
|14||Jones Boulevard||Opened on November 11, 1999|
|15||Rainbow Boulevard||Opened on November 11, 1999|
|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) / West Leg (North–South)|
|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|
|Summerlin South||23||Town Center Drive||SPUI opened in 2005|
|25||Sahara Avenue||Opened in 2000|
|26||SR 159 (Charleston Boulevard) – Red Rock Canyon||Opened in 2000|
|Las Vegas||27||Far Hills Avenue||Interchange constructed in late 2009|
|28||Summerlin Parkway||Reconstructed as system interchange in late 2009|
|29||Lake Mead Boulevard||SPUI (completed August 2008; opened on November 21, 2008 )|
|30||Cheyenne Avenue, Cliff Shadows Parkway||Interchange opened on October 30, 2007|
|Northern end of freeway|
|Lone Mountain Road|
|Lone Mountain||Ann Road|
|Cardinal Direction change: West Leg (North–South) / North Leg (East–West)|
|Western end of freeway|
|35||Hualapai Way||Interchange opened in 2003|
|Eastern end of freeway|
|Las Vegas||To US 95 south / Oso Blanca Road – Las Vegas||Temporary intersection|
|US 95 – Las Vegas, Tonopah, Reno||Interchange (interim configuration); direct access only from northbound US 95 to CC 215; US 95 exit 91|
|To US 95 north / Sky Point Drive – Tonopah, Reno||Temporary intersection; access to Buffalo Drive and Centennial Parkway|
|Western end of freeway|
|40||Jones Boulevard||Interchange opened in 2014|
|Bradley Road||Former temporary intersection; bridge over CC 215 opened on May 13, 2013|
|41||Decatur Boulevard||Interchange opened in 2013|
|North Las Vegas||43||Aliante Parkway||Interchange opened in 2008|
|Revere Street||Interchange under construction(Expected completion October 2016)|
|46||North 5th Street||Eastbound ramps opened in 2009 and full interchange opened in September 2011|
|Eastern end of freeway|
|Losee Road||Temporary intersection; opened in 2006|
|Pecos Road||Temporary intersection; opened in 2006|
|Lamb Boulevard||Temporary intersection; opened in 2006|
|I‑15 / US 93 – Las Vegas, Ely, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City||Interchange (interim configuration); eastern end of CC 215; I-15 exit 52|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Description and Maps – Quarterly Changes (April, May, June). Nevada Department of Transportation. July 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- Department of Public Works. "Bruce Woodbury Beltway" (PDF). Clark County. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
- "I-215 Nevada". 3-Digit Interstates. kurumi.com. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Las Vegas Construction Project". PBTP Construction division Las Vegas. 2011-11-30.
- Staff. "Clark County 215 Beltway". Clark County. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Las Vegas Beltway". Western Roads. AARoads. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- 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.
- "An interchange collecting dust" (Editorial). Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. August 3, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- "Lake Mead-Beltway interchange opens". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- 8 News Now at 5. Las Vegas, NV: KLAS-TV. October 30, 2007.
- Department of Public Works. "Beltway construction continues" (PDF). Clark County. Retrieved July 28, 2007.
- McCabe, Francis (2009-03-25). "Road Warrior: Fifth Street bridging Beltway". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- Obilor, Demetria (2016-04-04). "Driving You Crazy: Never-ending construction along the north Beltway". LasVegasNOW. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
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