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'The Big Squeeze' finishes just in time for Thanksgiving

"The Big Squeeze" along U.S. 95 is wrapping up a full two months early, giving motorists another reason to be thankful this holiday season. (Denise Rosch | KSNV)

The busiest travel time of the year begins with good news. "The Big Squeeze" along U.S. 95 is wrapping up a full two months early, giving motorists another reason to be thankful this holiday season.

When it comes to customer service, Bryce McManus is your man. Inside Vineyard Vines at the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, he and his coworkers are gearing up for Black Friday, with holiday shopping beginning in one week.

"I've been in retail six years. So, completely insane. Chaos. I thrive off something like that," said McManus.

However, before there is foot traffic, shoppers must get through road traffic. Along U.S. 95 "The Big Squeeze" has been an issue.

"We always brace and plan for the worst and were pleasantly surprised when it's not as bad," said Tony Illia with Nevada Department of Transportation. "And in Las Vegas, time is money. For us, we're elated to have this open for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, busiest shopping days of the year. Real economic boon."

Illia says southbound lanes from Rancho to the Spaghetti Bowl will open by 8 a.m. on Sunday. Northbound lanes will open by 6 a.m. on Wednesday. The 24/7 closures -- which went into effect March 20 -- are all part of the overall Project Neon, a nearly $1 billion widening of I-15. It's the largest and most expensive public works project in Nevada history.

Design-build general contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. earned over $5 million in bonuses for early completion of this interim project milestone.

Back at the mall, the end of "The Big Squeeze" is welcome news. They're open on Thanksgiving Day.

"It's growing pains. The city is growing around us. We're happy they're making improvements now," said Vicki Rousseau with the North Premium Outlets.


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