Final designs released for Project NEON

Project NEON (NDOT).jpg

It's the busiest stretch of highway in the state but maneuvering around I-15 near the spaghetti bowl is about to get even trickier.

Tuesday, NDOT released final design plans for "Project NEON" and the nearly one billion dollar project is meant to ease our traffic tie-ups.

RELATED | Project NEON breaks ground to expand Interstate 15, years of construction ahead

Fixing the Charleston interchange before we jump up onto the freeway is where the work will actually begin. That section begins this month but all that change comes with growing pains.

When is all this coming down? That's a question nearly asked every day inside New Image Barber Shop.

New Image Barber Shop has been a neighborhood favorite for 50 years.

The small business is one of the last, three at Oakey Center.

Neighbors and friends long gone, store fronts are vacant and the freeway you see is coming through.

"The state owns the shopping center now," said Randy Benefield, owner of New Image Barber Shop. "Everything is coming down, that's what we understand. I think we're going to be landscaping or something."

According to the Department of Transportation, it's all about improving the flow of traffic on both I-15 and U.S. 95.

Project NEON is set to break ground in late June and finish in three years.

RELATED | First major project to prepare for Project Neon begins Sunday

"This is the busiest stretch of highway in the state," said Dale Keller, Senior Project Manager for NDOT. "It has over 300-thousand vehicles per day. And with that, 3 and-a-half accidents a day. So what we're doing with Project Neon is safety and mobility."

Keller says the project has been 20 years in the making, planning and designing the future.

After initial work on connector roads, look for construction on U.S. 95 to being in January which should take 10 months.

"The impacts on I-15 won't happen until March of 2018. After Nascar weekend, through Black Friday or that Thanksgiving holiday weekend," said Keller. "It's going to be fast paced. 6 days a week, around the clock."

As for Benefield, he thinks we need new improvements because of the many accidents he see's on the bridge.

We obviously need it, because just about every night you can walk out here and see an accident on the bridge," said Benefield.

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