Pricey, scenic northern Nevada freeway opens soon

By Ed Vogel

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Published: Sunday, Aug. 5 2012 9:10 p.m. MDT

Transportation Department spokesman Scott Magruder never runs out of superlatives as he hauls a reporter and photographer over the new freeway where workers are finishing the final work.

On a recent weekday, he points to the 8-foot fences designed to keep deer from jumping on the freeway and the 4-foot concrete walls to prevent cars from blowing off the pavement and sending their drivers to sure death on the valley below.

Winds had been measured as high as 90 mph during the construction phase.

When they hit 30 mph, the Transportation Department may order trucks and trailers to return to the surface road far below.

Then there are the four automatic deicers that will spread a liquid saline solution on bridges when the temperature drops below 30 degrees.

The most spectacular part of the freeway is the 1,722-foot concrete bridge over Galena Creek. That is just 200 feet short of the new bridge below Hoover Dam, the one engineers consider a marvel.

The Transportation Department's next big roadway priority will be Project Neon, the $1.8 billion project to redesign Interstate 15 between the Spaghetti Bowl and Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas.

This series of new roads and flyovers will be built in five phases and take about five years to construct.

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