LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Step inside Lola's Louisiana Kitchen and every day is Mardi Gras.
For nearly ten years, the restaurant has been winning over customers in Downtown Las Vegas. But just outside the front door, traffic is nothing to celebrate. Lola's sits on the front steps of Project Neon.
“I don't even know when it's going to end,” said Christopher Godoy,
The billion dollar I-15 widening project will eventually mean a smoother commute, something Godoy hopes will help business.
“The numbers have dwindled since construction has been going on, but once it's all remedied, things get back to normal,” said Godoy. “Once upon a time, you know?”
And Tuesday night, Charleston Boulevard will shut down in both directions at I-15 for the installment of 9 bridge girders.
“Each girder is 115 feet long and weighs 160,000 pounds. The equivalent of 12 elephants,” says Tony Illia with the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Illia says Project Neon is now 70% complete, on budget, and scheduled to wrap up on time, next year.
Closures like the one on Charleston Boulevard are part of the process.
“Once Project Neon is done, it's going to improve the daily commute by 30 percent,” says Illia. “Here's a real economic benefit to that. Less time in traffic, safer, more efficient for everyone.”
As for detours, motorists can use Oakey Boulevard to the south and Alta Drive to the north.
Chris Wilson is a Lyft driver who says keeping up with closures is part of his job.
“Yea that's not going to be good, it's going to be gridlock,” Wilson said. "No one street is without construction right now.”
Back at Lola's, employees hope their loyal customers can see beyond construction. The restaurant is accessible, and the food is worth the journey.
Charleston Boulevard will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday nights between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.