Project NEON is an almost $1 billion project that is extremely important for Las Vegas. It “is the largest public works project in Nevada history” and has been in progress since December 2015 (NDOT). This project affects the “Spaghetti Bowl” and surrounding freeway areas, some of the most congested roadways in Las Vegas. According to NDOT, approximately 300,000 vehicles are passing through this stretch on any given day, and that number is projected to double by 2035. Project NEON will alleviate the heavy traffic flow that Las Vegas is currently suffering from and will be a preventative measure for future traffic in the area. Project NEON will connect the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes on U.S. Highway 95 to the I-15 express lanes with a flyover bridge while creating direct access carpool ramps and a new interchange called the “Neon Gateway.” Other planned upgrades include the construction of the Charleston Boulevard interchange, extending Grand Central Parkway over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and connecting to Industrial Road for improved downtown Las Vegas access and mobility.
Project Neon’s benefits include improved safety, reduced congestion, reduced travel delays, improved air quality, improved freeway operations, reduced weaving, new surface street connections, and better access to downtown Las Vegas (NDOT).
Once the construction for this project is completed, commuters in Las Vegas will experience drastic changes in travel speeds. If someone is going northbound on the I-15 during peak hours, they will be traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour instead of the current 28 miles per hour. Going southbound on the US 95 to I-15, the average speed will be approximately 56 miles per hour instead of 18 miles per hour. These speed changes will positively affect people’s commute during the morning and afternoon rush hours (NDOT).
How PK Electrical is Contributing to this Project:
As sub-consultants to Atkins Global and Kiewit, PK Electrical has provided the lighting and power designs for this design-build project covering 3.7 miles of interstate and 17 miles of local road improvements. There are aesthetic and landscape upgrades, intelligent messaging signs, and improved drainage. Specifically, our electrical engineering firm provided complete lighting and power design for all new construction areas. Included in the design were 52 new digital message signs and over 750 light fixtures. The new lighting design consists of all new LED lighting. These installments will improve lighting levels, contrast, quality, and longevity while meeting driver expectations and improving maintenance operations.
During the design phase of this project, a BIM Execution Plan was implemented, and a managed workspace was incorporated in ProjectWise. These plans allowed all disciplines working on this project to create plan sheets that looked similar despite being created in different locations; there was a total of 5,000 plan sheets. The utilization of MicroStation clash detection tools was also used for this project. These tools enabled project teams to mitigate 5,000 potential clashes between new and existing facilities. Because of the detection tools, countless hours were saved for both the design team and contractor. Lead drafting meetings were held weekly to solve any inconsistencies found in regards to project standards. The schedule for this project was extremely tight. Taking the tight schedule into account and the combination of a large number of moving parts, made for some difficulty in design. To alleviate the difficulties, the PK Electrical team coordinated with amongst all disciplines working on this project. As time went on, the project became smoother because of the efforts of the group.
PK Electrical employees believe that there is increased comfortability and preparedness for working on projects of similar nature because of this project. Current NDOT projects are being performed with more ease, and the comfortability and familiarity with the other teams working on this project have also increased.
This project is anticipated to be completed in Summer 2019. Check out the Project NEON website for more information on updated timelines and alternate routes and road closures.
PK Electrical, Inc. is an electrical engineering firm located in Reno, NV and Denver, CO. For more information about our Reno and Denver electrical engineering firm, or if you are interested in learning more about our electrical engineers and electrical designers and their contributions to other projects, check out our website.