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Interstate 215 Nevada

 

Routing

Interstate 215 in Nevada is the Interstate-standard section of the new Las Vegas Beltway. Constructed first as a connector from Interstate 15 to the new McCarran Airport Tunnel (unsigned Nevada 171) in 1996, the beltway has been extended east and west of that short section. As of December 2003, the freeway ends before it reaches Interstate 515, changing into Nevada 564 after Exit 1. A complete freeway-to-freeway interchange is planned to provide a direct connection between Interstates 215 and 515 by 2006. In the meantime, Nevada 564 acts as the conduit for traffic along the mile that rests between Interstate 215 and Interstate 515.

History

AASHTO approved the designation of Interstate 215 between Nevada 593 (Tropicana Avenue) and Interstate 515/U.S. 93-95 on April 17, 1993. The application listed the length of this stretch of Interstate 215 as 18.9 miles, meaning that this approval includes not only the signed route between Interstate 15 and Interstate 515, but also a portion of the southwestern corner of the beltway. Nevertheless, no Interstate 215 shields are in place west of Interstate 15 yet.

Planned Improvements

Along the section of the beltway designated as Interstate 215, several improvements are planned. A critical project is the construction of a freeway-to-freeway interchange between Interstate 215 and Interstate 515. Another major project is the construction of a diamond interchange at Gibson Road and the expansion of the freeway to six lanes within the vicinity of the Green Valley Parkway interchange (Exit 3). These projects are expected to be completed by 2006.

This map depicts the completed and proposed routing of Interstate 215 in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Once the Las Vegas beltway is completed to Interstate standards, it will be redesignated as Interstate 125 (rather than Clark County Route 215). Completion of the entire Las Vegas beltway to those standards is expected by 2020.

Future Aspirations

As part of the Las Vegas Beltway, it is likely that the remainder of the beltway that lies west of Interstate 15 will become part of Interstate 215. Currently designated as Clark County Route 215, the combination expressway/freeway is being upgraded to Interstate standards.

The western terminus of Interstate 215 is at its junction with Interstate 15. West of here, the freeway continues as Interstate-standard to Decatur, then shifts to the frontage roads on either side of the right-of-way for the future beltway freeway. This segment is Clark County 215. Continuing north and west, the Interstate-standard freeway resumes with the newest section, completed in 2000-2001, which ultimately connects to the Summerlin Parkway. Plans call for the beltway in some form, either expressway or freeway, to connect to the Centennial Parkway and ultimately Interstate 15 in North Las Vegas.

As of November 25, 2003, the Las Vegas Beltway is fully open for 270 degrees in some form (freeway or frontage road expressway) as a result of the new freeway segment opened between Lone Mountain Road and El Capitan Way in northwest Las Vegas. It will take several years for this corridor to be constructed to full Interstate standards. As part of the original beltway study conducted by the Nevada Department of Transportation, the beltway is not planned for extension over the northeastern quadrant.

One major project that's currently underway is the construction of a three-mile section of Clark County 215 between Decatur and Buffalo Boulevards will receive freeway carriageways by October 2004. Currently, traffic utilizes frontage roads that temporarily serve as the freeway. This section of the beltway will include new interchanges at Jones and Rainbow Boulevards. Upon completion of this road work, the freeway component of the beltway will tally 25 of 52 miles.1

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 15 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Perspective from Northbound Interstate 15
Northbound Interstate 15 at Junction Eastbound Interstate 215. Note that in this sign, the state name is replaced with the word "LOOP." Several of the signs first placed for Interstate 215 feature the word "LOOP"; most of the most recent signs are either neutered or feature the state name. First photo taken 11/11/00; second photo taken by Pete Sison 12/00.
Perspective from Interstate 215 west
Westbound Interstate 215 at Interstate 15 southbound exit. This marks the end of Interstate 215. The freeway continues west of this point as Clark County Route 215/Las Vegas Beltway. Once that section is constructed to Interstate standards, it may be considered for future inclusion in the Interstate Highway System. Photo taken 11/11/00.
At the time this photo was taken, the overhead sign along westbound only said "Decatur Boulevard." Now (unphotographed) this sign shows Clark County Route 215 Shields. The freeway/expressway combination follows Clark County Route 215 as far west and north as the Summerlin Parkway as of May 2001; as of November 2003, it goes all the way to Interstate 15 in North Las Vegas. Decatur Boulevard is simply the next exit along the freeway, and it marks the end of the Interstate-standard construction of Clark County Route 215. While some parts of the remainder of Clark County Route 215 are Interstate-standard, the soutwestern section of the beltway is built on future frontage roads, while the mainline remains unconstructed. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Perspective from Clark County Route 215 east
Eastbound Clark County Route 215 at change from asphalt to concrete pavement. This marks the beginning of the Interstate-standard section of the Las Vegas Beltway heading eastbound just before the Decatur exit and a couple miles east of Interstate 15. However, Interstate 215 does not officially begin until a mile east of this point, at the junction with Interstate 15. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Eastbound Clark County Route 215 approaching junction Interstate 15. Note the lack of signage for the beginning of Interstate 215. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Eastern Terminus - Nevada 564 after Stephanie Street interchange; Future end will be at Interstate 515 and U.S. 93-95 - Henderson, Nevada
Perspective from Interstate 515 north
Northbound Interstate 515 approaching Junction Nevada 564 (which was known as Nevada 146 at the time this photo was taken). Note the "To" signage for Interstate 215 westbound. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Perspective from Nevada 564 west
Westbound Nevada 564 (former Nevada 146) at Interstate 515 overpass. This diamond interchange serves as the temporary connector between Interstates 215 and 515. A high-speed connection, coupled with the completion of the last mile of Interstate 215 to connect with Interstate 515, is planned for completion by 2006. Photo taken 11/11/00.
For the mile between Interstate 515 west to the beginning of Interstate 215, Nevada 564 is a six-lane expressway. Signage for Nevada 146 (shown in this picture) has been replaced with Nevada 564 shields. The Interstate 515 diamond interchange, and the stoplight in the distance, at Gibson, is the last barrier to meeting the freeway section, which can be seen in the background where the jersey barrier median begins. The Interstate-standard portion of the freeway begins a quarter-mile or so after the jersey barrier median begins. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Signage for Westbound Nevada 146 to Interstate 215 at Gibson Road stoplight. As noted earlier, this sign has been removed as the eastern section of Nevada 146 is now known as Nevada 564. This redesignation was enacted to prevent a dual signage between Interstate 215 and Nevada 146 in this area. Nevada 146 remains commissioned along St. Rose Parkway southwest of Interstate 215. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Westbound Nevada 564 (former Nevada 146) just beyond Gibson stoplight. We're almost to the beginning of Interstate 215! Photo taken 11/11/00.
Begin westbound Interstate 215 along Nevada 564 (former Nevada 146). Photo taken 11/11/00.
Perspective from Interstate 215 east
Eastbound Interstate 215 approaching end freeway signage. There is an END shield present in the distance in this photo; a close-up is provided next. Taken by Pete Sison, 05/01.
End Interstate 215 eastbound and continue former Nevada 146 (now Nevada 564) eastbound signage. Nevada 146 and Interstate 215 used to be cosigned for approximately five miles; this situation only lasted between 1996 and 2002 before Nevada 564 was commissioned. This was the only location in the state (albeit briefly) where an Interstate and a state route erre cosigned in Nevada. After this sign assembly, the freeway narrows to expressway standards (Interstate 215 ends and Nevada 564 continues), has a stoplighted intersection, and then meets Interstate 515. Photo taken by Jeff Royston, 12/00.

Sources:

  1. Mr. Mojave. "Las Vegas Beltway Complete...sorta." Online posting, misc.transport.road, November 27, 2003.

Page Updated March 17, 2006.

 
Mileage

State Nevada
Mileage 10*
Cities Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood
Junctions Interstate 15, Interstate 515
Source: 2002 Rand McNally Road Atlas (*-estimate)
I-215 Nevada Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
Clark Exit 11/Decatur Boulevard Exit 10/Interstate 15 64,000
Clark Exit 10/Interstate 15 Exit 9/Las Vegas Boulevard 122,300
Clark Exit 9/Las Vegas Boulevard Exit 8/McCarran Airport/Sunset Rd. 134,000
Clark Exit 8/McCarran Airport/Sunset Rd. Exit 7/Windmill Lane 111,000
Clark Exit 7/Windmill Lane Exit 6/Eastern Avenue 95,075
Clark Exit 6/Eastern Avenue Exit 5/Pecos Road 89,235
Clark Exit 5/Pecos Road Exit 4/Green Valley Parkway 98,035
Clark Exit 4/Green Valley Parkway Exit 3/Valley Verde Drive 90,335
Clark Exit 3/Valley Verde Drive Exit 1/Stephanie Street 86,135
Source: The Annual Traffic Report [2001] (Nevada Department of Transportation)

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