Brace yourselves! Nevada's busiest freeway ramp will be closed this weekend
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
The state's busiest freeway ramp will be closed for 36 hours this weekend.
Drivers will see plenty of detour signs as the most expensive highway project in Nevada history creates a traffic tie up.
If you think traffic is bad now in Las Vegas, just wait until this weekend when the ramp that leads from U.S. Highway 95 South to Interstate 15 South is shut down.
It's one of many detours you can expect to see with Project Neon.
The closure will impact businesses south of the 95, as drivers try to find new routes to get where they're going.
In a city that worships newness, Michael McGowan serves up nostalgia in the ever-changing landscape of Las Vegas.
Michael McGowan is the owner of the Omelet House on Charleston near University Medical Center.
"It was kind of designed to be somewhere you could come and have a breakfast and feel like you're going to Grandma’s house," explained Michael McGowan. "We remember going to grandma's house and getting pancakes or that piece of pie or special cake that grandma would make for us."
You can almost always find a line at the front door. It's especially busy on the weekend.
On Friday night, the establishment will embrace another change.
It's a major change that will bring a traffic tie up, outside the restaurant in the heart of Las Vegas.
The ramp from 95 South onto I-15 South is being shut down from 10:00 PM Friday night until 10:00 AM Sunday morning.
"I think it's going to be huge because the Department of Transportation says there are more cars that use this ramp than any other ramp," said Tom Hawley, News 3's Traffic Authority.
Tom Hawley said a backup is inevitable as drivers who rely on the freeway, find other ways to get around.
"On the weekends, the heaviest traffic is mid-day, so I think mid-day Saturday you're going to have a huge mess," explained Hawley. "A lot of people will get the message, but a lot of people won't even know about it. They'll get stuck in a long line, at least a couple of miles, approaching the side exits."
Side streets are expected to be a mess.
"The traffic in the neighborhood just to the south of the 95, from Decatur all the way down to I-15 will have much busier traffic in Southbound lanes," said Hawley. "When you're stuck in traffic, you can beat on the windshield, you can honk the horn, or you can get an audio book or station that you like and just try and keep cool."
The closure is necessary to make room for a carpool, flyover bridge that will connect U.S. 95 to I-15.
The bridge is the centerpiece of Project Neon, a billion-dollar widening project to ease traffic on the Valley's most traffic-choked freeways.
"I think they'll have a harder time to get here but they're going to get here one way or another.
Now, the old-timey dining spot that shies away from change hopes to cash in on the congestion.
McGowan said people won't skip a meal just because of heavy traffic.
"They have to have their fix," explained McGowan.