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Prepare yourself: ‘Dropicana’ I-15 construction project starts this month

I-15 and Tropicana Avenue
Google Street View
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Google Street View
I-15 and Tropicana Avenue

Be aware: “Dropicana” is not a drop in the traffic bucket. The major road project on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas starts later this month and will cause congestion for drivers.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is planning for full closures of I-15 and Tropicana Avenue (and the associated ramps) beginning Jan. 17.

“Crews will demolish and rebuild the north half of Tropicana Ave. (the current eastbound lanes) over I-15 and Frank Sinatra Dr. Much of the flyover ramp from southbound I-15 to eastbound Tropicana will also be taken down and rebuilt. The demolition of both bridges is necessary so that Tropicana Ave. can be widened and raised to add capacity and increase safety,” the agency said in a release. “Beginning January 17, the I-15 southbound I-15 offramps to Tropicana east- and westbound will close to traffic. The ramp to westbound Tropicana will remain closed for approximately nine months. The flyover ramp to eastbound Tropicana will remain closed for approximately 18 months.”

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Here’s what you need to know about the project:

Located at the heart of the resort corridor, the I-15/Tropicana Avenue interchange serves as the gateway to the Las Vegas Strip. The combination of new resorts and professional sports teams and venues has attracted more visitors to the city, drawing as many as 300,000 visitors on major holiday weekends. The widening of the Tropicana interchange will add capacity, improve accessibility to the Strip and allow for the future widening of I-15 as the population continues to grow.

Improvements include:

  • Expanding Tropicana Ave. from three lanes to four in each direction
  • Left-turn lanes from Tropicana to I-15 increased from two to three lanes
  • New HOV half-interchange on the south side of Harmon Ave.
  • New Dean Martin alignment under Tropicana Ave. for improved traffic flow
  • Exit to Frank Sinatra Dr. widening to two lanes
  • New Active Traffic Management (ATM) signs on I-15 between Warm Springs and Tropicana
  • Signal improvements at 12 intersections
  • New pedestrian walkway between Tropicana Ave. & Arena Dr.
  • 10’-wide sidewalks on both directions of Tropicana Ave

This project will provide more efficient traffic flow in and around the Tropicana interchange, improved travel time reliability on I-15 and Tropicana Ave., enhanced safety for motors and pedestrians, improved air quality, and easier access to and from the resort corridor.
Work began in May and is expected to continue into early 2025.

To stay updated, NDOT recommended downloading its free app, following real-time updates on social media at @i15trop, or at i15trop.com, or via their hotline: 702-876-TROP (8767).