Leaving Las Vegas: Newsom announces plan to ease congestion from Vegas to L.A. area

Local news

A new plan to ease the traffic congestion that builds up to the L.A. area following weekend getaways to Las Vegas was announced Sunday.

The shoulder portion of a five-mile stretch of the southbound 15 Freeway between the Nevada state line and the California Food and Agriculture checkpoint will be converted for use as an extra lane during peak hours, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said during a joint news conference to announce the plan.

“Annually, more than 11 million Las Vegas visitors drive in and out of town on I-15 and this is a major step forward while we continue to collaborate and work toward more permanent solutions,” Sisolak said.

Traffic is currently reduced from three lanes to two lanes through the area, before later opening back up to three lanes.

The project will use the freeway’s shoulder area to keep the freeway open to three lanes of traffic during peak hours on Sundays and Mondays.

Average travel times on Sundays and Mondays in the southbound direction can range from three to five hours between the Nevada state line and Barstow, according to Newsom’s office.

The project is estimated to cost $12 million and is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2022.

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