I-15 weekend closure past Tropicana Avenue, 2nd closure on horizon

Motorists survived the first of two planned Interstate 15 closures at the I-15/Tropicana Avenue interchange known as “Dropicana.”

The Nevada Department of Transportation said it was pleased with how drivers managed the two-way closure of I-15 between Russell and Flamingo streets from late Friday night into early Monday morning.

“We have seen a significant reduction in traffic,” said NDOT spokesman Justin Hopkins. “It appears that drivers heeded the warnings to avoid the area and others took appropriate detours to get around. Work to remove the northern half of the Tropicana Bridge was efficient and we were able to reopen both Tropicana and I-15 early.”

Between Dean Martin Drive and New York-New York, Tropicana was closed to traffic for eight days and also reopened on Monday. The Tropicana Bridge over I-15 has reopened to two lanes in each direction, with a temporary traffic pattern known as a divergent diamond crossing point.

“A DDI is designed to reduce congestion and improve safety and efficiency, particularly during construction periods when road capacity is reduced,” Hopkins said. “The DDI enables a continuous flow of traffic during the construction phase and reduces the need for detours. The DDI reduces the risk of collision and increases safety for the driver. The DDI design reduces the number of conflict points and allows for smoother traffic flow during construction.”

There are three other divergent diamond interchanges in southern Nevada — Horizon Drive at US Highway 95 in Henderson, Kyle Canyon Road at US 95, and the lanes under I-15 at US 95, Hopkins noted.

“Riders on Tropicana will notice new barriers and temporary signals to help guide them through the DDI,” he said. “We are aware that it will take a little getting used to, but we are confident that the drivers will adapt quickly.”

The $305 million I-15/Tropicana interchange project is designed to make traffic flow more efficiently in and around the Tropicana interchange, improve travel time and reliability on I-15 and Tropicana, increase motorist and pedestrian safety, and provide easier access Access to and from the highway is provided by the spa corridor.

Work on the project began in May and is expected to be completed in early 2025.

The current phase of the I-15/Tropicana project is aimed at rebuilding the northern half of the Tropicana Bridge. Once this is complete, traffic on Tropicana will be shifted to the new bridge and the south side will be demolished and rebuilt.

Another full closure of I-15 is planned in Phase 3 of the project to allow for the rebuilding of the southern half of the Tropicana Bridge.

NDOT anticipates that will happen in the fall when crews demolish the southern half of the Tropicana flyover. The exact dates will be announced as soon as the work gets closer.

“When the full structure opens in 2024, Tropicana Ave will return to a more typical traffic flow, with greater capacity and additional turning lanes than before,” Hopkins said.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. consequences @Mickaker on twitter.