Las Vegas Beltway
The Las Vegas Beltway (officially named the Bruce Woodbury Beltway) is a 50.3-mile (81.0 km) beltway route circling three-quarters of the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada. The Las Vegas Beltway carries two numerical designations. Approximately 11.1 miles (17.9 km) of the highway, from its southern terminus at Interstate 11/Interstate 515/U.S. Route 93/U.S. Route 95 in Henderson west and northwest to Interstate 15, is signed as Interstate 215 (I-215); however, only two distinct portions of this section (I-11 and I-515 to Stephanie Street and Warm Springs Road to I-15), totaling a little over 4.6 miles (7.4 km), are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation. Clark County Route 215 (CC 215) composes the remaining 39.2 miles (63.1 km) of this semi-circumferral highway, with the county's Department of Public Works responsible for all construction and maintenance (the county also maintains the 6.7-mile (10.8 km) middle section of the aforementioned southeast leg signed as I-215).
|Bruce Woodbury Beltway|
Interstate 215 in red, County Route 215 in blue
|Auxiliary route of I‑15|
|Maintained by NDOT and Clark County Public Works|
|Length||50.3 mi (81.0 km)|
I-215: 11.1 miles (17.9 km)
(NDOT maintains 4.816 miles (7.751 km) of I-215)
CC 215: 39.2 miles (63.1 km)
|Existed||April 17, 1993–present|
| I‑215 from Henderson to Enterprise|
CC 215 from Enterprise to North Las Vegas
|Beltway around Las Vegas|
|CCW end||I‑11 / I‑515 / US 93 / US 95 / SR 564 in Henderson|
|CW end||I‑15 / US 93 / Tropical Parkway in North Las Vegas|
The Las Vegas Beltway currently consists of two different road types: freeway and an interim expressway. The beltway is currently a freeway from the I-11 and I-515 interchange in Henderson to just west of US 95 in northwestern Las Vegas. The remainder of the beltway is a mix of freeway and expressway, with several of the expressway sections being upgraded to Interstate freeway standards.
The beltway was planned and constructed by Clark County. This marked the first time in the United States that a county has overseen the construction of an Interstate highway with little to no state or federal funding. Once completely upgraded to a freeway, the CC 215 portion of the beltway will be re-designated I-215 and the entire facility turned over to the Nevada Department of Transportation for maintenance.
The Las Vegas Beltway begins in Henderson, at the I-11/I-515/US 93/US 95 interchange, where traffic on westbound State Route 564 (Lake Mead Parkway) defaults onto I-215 west. From here, the beltway primarily follows the former Lake Mead Drive alignment west to the Pecos Road/Saint Rose Parkway (SR 146) interchange. The highway then curves northwest towards McCarran International Airport before turning west to cross under Las Vegas Boulevard and I-15.
As the beltway passes under I-15, it changes from Interstate to county highway still maintaining freeway status as it heads nearly due west. Passing Decatur Boulevard, two one-way frontage roads (which formerly carried the initial beltway facilities) appear on either side of the highway. At Durango Drive, the roadway curves northward. The frontage roads end as the highway reaches Tropicana Avenue, but the freeway continues briefly west and then north again to intersect Charleston Boulevard (SR 159) near Red Rock Canyon. As it passes north through the community of Summerlin (part of the city of Las Vegas), it meets the Summerlin Parkway freeway at a recently upgraded system interchange.
From here, the freeway continues north along the western foothills of Las Vegas to pass behind Lone Mountain. Soon afterward, the beltway downgrades from freeway to an expressway (with 2 at-grade intersections at US 95 south, Oso Blanca Road and Sky Pointe Drive) after it passes the Durango Drive interchange and intersects US 95 at an interchange currently under construction. From there, the beltway continues as a freeway nearly due east along the alignment of Centennial Parkway before entering northern North Las Vegas at Decatur Boulevard. From there it swings northeast, passing by the large Aliante development before turning east again. Much of the final few miles of the route from here on are in undeveloped land, except near the interchange at 5th Street, with intersections existing primarily as turnarounds as it is being upgraded as interchanges, until the beltway swings southeast just past Lamb Boulevard and reaches its ending terminus at I-15, US 93 and Tropical Parkway just west of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
AASHTO approved the I-215 designation for approximately 18.9 miles (30.4 km) of (then unbuilt) highway, from Tropicana Avenue to US 95 (I-515) on April 17, 1993. As eventually built, this specific portion of the beltway is 19.59 miles (31.53 km) in length.
Much of the beltway was built completely with local funds and expressway to freeway upgrades have continued to be built without state or federal money (except for the I-515 interchange upgrade). A tax measure voted on by the County residents increased funding for the beltway. As a result, it was expected to be fully upgraded to a freeway by 2013, rather than the previous goal of 2025. However, at present it appears that this target date has slipped back at least a few years.
The first section of I-215 opened to traffic in 1996 from I-15 to Warm Springs Road, including the McCarran Airport Connector and tunnel, which linked McCarran International Airport to southern metro Las Vegas without requiring motorists to use Tropicana Avenue or Russell Road to access the main passenger terminal. The southeast leg of the beltway (except for the I-515 connection) was completed ahead of schedule in 1999, while the northern end was extended from Decatur Boulevard in 1998 to Tropicana Avenue by 2000. The remaining sections in the western and northern legs of the beltway were completed by 2003 – either in their final, full freeway mode or in one of two lesser interim configurations.
I-215 was built on the State Route 146 alignment between a point just east of Exit 6 (Saint Rose Parkway/Pecos Road) and Mile 0 (the Interstate 515/U.S. Route 93/U.S. Route 95 interchange at Lake Mead Parkway, formerly known as Lake Mead Drive). Since the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) does not co-sign state routes along Interstate highways, SR 146 was truncated to its current eastern terminus at I-215. SR 146 was co-signed with I-215 from Pecos Road to I-515/US 93/US 95, even though the state highway designation no longer existed in this section when the freeway was completed. SR 146 signs were removed on I-215.
In 2003, the entire 50.5-mile (81.3 km) long beltway was opened, albeit with three different road types – freeway, limited access expressway and as interim frontage roads – with all the newly opened sections being designated as County Route 215. On August 9, 2006, a section of freeway was completed that allowed the connection of two previously built freeway portions. This meant a continuous stretch of road consisting of about half the road's overall mileage, from the I-515/SR 564 terminus to Charleston Boulevard was now completed to freeway standards.
Roads & Bridges magazine, a national publication that provides technology news and information to the transportation construction industry, named the Las Vegas Beltway as one of the nation's Top Ten Road Projects in 2002.
At the Board of County Commission meeting on March 2, 2004, the beltway was renamed as the Bruce Woodbury Beltway. The Board approved a resolution recognizing Republican Clark County Commissioner Bruce L. Woodbury for his many years and efforts in the future of transportation in the valley.
Recent and future improvementsEdit
Construction of the North 5th Street Interchange was completed and fully opened to traffic in September 2011. The project's scope included roadway, bridge, drainage and utility improvements along the northern beltway at the intersection of North 5th Street in North Las Vegas. Began in 2012 and completed in 2014, construction by the Clark County Department of Public Works built-out of another northern beltway segment between Tenaya Way and Decatur Boulevard. The project widened CC 215 to four lanes, built two new interchanges at Jones and Decatur Boulevards and a new bridge to carry Bradley Road over the freeway. Improvements to the beltway were also completed in the southern region of the valley with upgrades between I-15 and Windmill Lane. This project provided one additional travel lane in each direction, auxiliary lanes between interchanges and included the widening of four bridges over I-215 at Paradise, Warm Springs and Robindale roads as well as for the McCarran Airport Connector. Additionally, the beltway from Decatur Blvd to North 5th Street was built out from 2014 to Fall 2016. A new bridge was built for the expected extension of Revere Street and the roadway widened to a four-lane freeway from Decatur Boulevard to North 5th Street.
Construction projects on the 215 Beltway included a conversion of the roadways between Craig and Hualapai to a four-lane freeway with interchanges at Lone Mountain Road and Ann Road and a grade separation for Centennial Parkway and the further improvements to the McCarran Airport Connector with the McCarran Airport Connector 2 project. Additionally, phased construction of the Centennial Bowl system interchange between the Beltway and the US 95 freeway in the northwest valley continues. The NB 95 to EB 215 ramp was completed on May 28, 2016. The WB 215 to SB 95 Flyover ramp opened on July 12, 2017. Additionally, an expanded bridge over Montecito Parkway was also completed in anticipation of the widening of the Beltway between Durango Drive and Tenaya Way as part of the construction of the Centennial Bowl interchange.
The entire route is in Clark County.
|Henderson||0.00||0.00||—||SR 564 east (Lake Mead Parkway)||Continuation beyond eastern terminus of I-215|
|1||I‑11 south / I‑515 north / US 93 / US 95 – Boulder City, Las Vegas||I-11 exit 23; system interchange conversion completed in 2006; former I-515 south|
|2||Gibson Road||Opened on April 29, 2000; interchange completed in 2006|
|3A||Stephanie Street||Signed as exit 3 westbound|
|3B||Valle Verde Drive|
|5||Green Valley Parkway|
|6||SR 146 west (Saint Rose Parkway) / Pecos Road|
|9||Warm Springs Road|
|10||Sunset Road (SR 562), McCarran Airport||Access via unsigned SR 171 (McCarran Airport Connector); opened on December 31, 1995|
|Enterprise||11||Las Vegas Boulevard||Eastbound exit is part of exit 12B; former SR 604/US 91/US 466|
|12||I‑15 – Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City||CCW terminus of CC 215 and western terminus of I-215; signed as exits 12A (south) and 12B (north) eastbound and exits 12A (north) and 12B (south) westbound; I-15 exit 34|
|14||Jones Boulevard||Opened on November 11, 1999|
|Spring Valley||16||Buffalo Drive||Opened in 2006|
|17||Durango Drive, Sunset Road||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; opened in 2006|
|Cardinal Direction change: South Leg (west–east) / West Leg (north–south)|
|18||Sunset Road, Durango Drive||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; opened in 2006|
|19||Russell Road||Opened in 2006|
|Summerlin South||23||Town Center Drive||SPUI opened in 2005|
|25||Sahara Avenue||Opened in 2000|
|Summerlin South–Las Vegas line||26||SR 159 (Charleston Boulevard) – Red Rock Canyon|
|Las Vegas||27||Far Hills Avenue||Interchange constructed in late 2009|
|28||Summerlin Parkway (SR 613 east)||Reconstructed as partial system interchange in late 2009|
|29||Lake Mead Boulevard||SPUI (completed August 2008; opened on November 21, 2008 )|
|30||Cheyenne Avenue, Cliff Shadows Parkway||Interchange opened on October 30, 2007|
|32||Lone Mountain Road||Interchange opened in 2018|
|Cardinal direction change: West Leg (north–south), North Leg (east–west)|
|35||Hualapai Way||Interchange opened in 2003|
|Eastern end of freeway|
|US 95 south / Oso Blanca Road – Las Vegas||Temporary intersection|
|38||US 95 – Las Vegas, Tonopah, Reno||Interchange (interim configuration); direct access only from northbound US 95 to CC 215 and from westbound CC 215 to southbound US 95; US 95 exit 91|
|To US 95 north / Sky Pointe Drive – Tonopah, Reno||Temporary intersection; access to Buffalo Drive and Centennial Parkway|
|Western end of freeway|
|40||Jones Boulevard||Interchange opened in 2014|
|Las Vegas–North Las Vegas line||41||Decatur Boulevard||Interchange opened in 2013|
|North Las Vegas||43||Aliante Parkway||Interchange opened in 2008|
|45||Revere Street||Interchange completed October 2016, but ramps not opened to traffic until 2018|
|46||North 5th Street||Eastbound ramps opened in 2009 and full interchange opened in September 2011|
|Eastern end of freeway|
|Losee Road||Temporary intersection opened in 2006. Interchange conversion to be complete by April 2020.|
|Range Road||Temporary intersection|
|51||I‑15 / US 93 / Tropical Parkway – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Ely, Salt Lake City||Interchange (interim configuration); CW terminus of CC 215; I-15 exit 52|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Department of Public Works. "Bruce Woodbury Beltway" (PDF). Clark County. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
- Nevada Department of Transportation (January 2019). "State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Descriptions and Maps". Retrieved February 18, 2019.
- "The projected date for finishing the Las Vegas Beltway?". Las Vegas Sun. January 27, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- "I-215 Nevada". 3-Digit Interstates. kurumi.com. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Las Vegas Construction Project". PBTP Construction division Las Vegas. 2011-11-30. Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- Staff. "Clark County 215 Beltway". Clark County. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Las Vegas Beltway". Western Roads. AARoads. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- McCabe, Francis (July 16, 2008). "Road Warrior Q&A: Interchange opening moved up to 2010". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- "An interchange collecting dust". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. August 3, 2008. Archived from the original (Editorial) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- "Lake Mead-Beltway interchange opens". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- 8 News Now at 5. Las Vegas, NV: KLAS-TV. October 30, 2007.
- McCabe, Francis (2009-03-25). "Road Warrior: Fifth Street bridging Beltway". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- Obilor, Demetria (2016-04-04). "Driving You Crazy: Never-ending construction along the north Beltway". LasVegasNOW. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Marroquin, Art (September 10, 2017). "Memo to Nevada motorists: License plates aren't optional". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Stephens Media, LLC. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
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