Prep work has begun on a $305 million project to rebuild one of the main gateways to Las Vegas.

The three-year project would rebuild the Tropicana Avenue interchange with Interstate 15. The Tropicana Avenue bridge over I-15 would be widened and lengthened, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. The expanded  bridge would prepare the way for a future widening of I-15. (An animated video of the future interchange can be viewed at the end of this story.)

An existing flyover would be replaced. High-occupancy vehicle ramps would be added to connect to and from I-15 south of the Harmon Avenue overpass. The ramps would allow HOVs direct access to the Las Vegas Strip, according to NDOT.

Traffic on Dean Martin Drive would be separated from the Tropicana Avenue intersection, limiting right-in and right-out access. The traffic light at the intersection would be removed. Access to and from the northwest and southwest quadrants would be maintained with frontage roads connecting Tropicana Avenue and a redesigned Dean Martin Boulevard that would flow under Tropicana Avenue.

Kiewit was selected November 8 for the design-build contract, NDOT says. From December 12 through 16, utility and geotechnical work has been occurring to prepare for construction to begin, requiring nightly lane and shoulder closings on I-15 in the project area, according to NDOT.

Tropicana Avenue experiences heavy traffic congestion leading to and from the interchange, and NDOT says projected 2040 traffic increases would worsen that congestion if nothing is done. The new interchange is expected to improve traffic flow, as well as improve property access and pedestrian connections, as well as access to events at nearby Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena and other attractions.

Here’s a preliminary animated video tour of the future interchange:

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