California, Nevada Agree on Makeshift I-15 Widening Near Las Vegas

A $12 million repaving and restriping project is intended to alleviate congestion at the state line between California and Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.

December 8, 2021, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A aerical view of primm, Nevada, where I-15 bisects large casinos and parking lots on a sunny day.

This small stretch of I-15, bisecting the city of Primm, Nevada at the state's border with California, is the frequent site of long traffic jams. | photosounds / Shutterstock

"A 5-mile stretch of Interstate 15 south of the Nevada state line will be widened this spring in an effort to eliminate a frustrating bottleneck that has caused miles of backups for travelers to California," reports Bryan Rokos for The Sun.

In a separate article for the Las Vegas Sun, Ray Brewer provides additional news coverage of the plan to widen I-15 at the border between the two states by repaving and restriping the right shoulder for use as a third lane between the border and the California Department of Food and Agriculture station during peak traffic periods—Sunday and Monday, in this case.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak made a joint announcement about the $12 million project at a press conference held next to the freeway near the border. Both governors touted the importance of the corridor, and the connections caused by the bottleneck at state lines.

"This stretch of highway between the Nevada border and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Agricultural Station is federally recognized as an economic lifeline corridor due to its role in the supply chain, and for connecting the economic and tourism hubs of Southern California and Las Vegas," writes Rokos.

The project is not, as noted in both article, a long-term solution for congestion between Los Angeles and Las Vegas—where two competing visions for connecting the two regions are in disparate states of speculation. A plan to build a high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California was shelved in November 2020, while many officials in Las Vegas are pushing for the state to use its funding from the federal infrastructure bill, officially known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, on the I-15 corridor between the two states.

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