Interstate 515 Nevada



Interstate 515 is the Interstate-standard section of the Las Vegas Downtown Expressway, also known as U.S. 95 (and U.S. 93). Interstate 515 was commissioned in 1995. It is unclear why this freeway was given signed Interstate status when Interstate 580 was, and remains, unsigned. Perhaps the fact that Interstate 515, as originally planned, was already at Interstate standards when added to the Interstate System in 1995, while portions of future Interstate 580 are still under construction between Reno and Carson City.

Traffic reporters in Las Vegas generally refer to the Interstate 515 freeway as U.S. 95, and many business maps, such as those found in advertisements in the newspaper, erroneously show this road as Interstate 95. Interstate 515 uses the mileposts of U.S. 95, so the exit numbers count down to the California border near Nevada 163 and Laughlin.

The Interstate 515 designation only belongs to the freeway portion of U.S. 93/95 to the southeast of Interstate 15.

Planned Improvements

A corridor study is underway for Interstate 515, which will recommend specific improvements to improve freeway flow. Visit Interstate 515 Corridor Study Website (Nevada Department of Transportation). Notably, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section has sections entitled "Where is I-515?" and "Isn't the highway called U.S. 95?" Interstate 515 is not as well-known as the U.S. 95 designation for the Las Vegas Expressway.

Future Aspirations

If Interstate 11 is built from Phoenix to Las Vegas, the entire route of Interstate 515 through Henderson and Las Vegas would become part of that route. This action would effectively eliminate Interstate 515. However, the creation of Interstate 11 is not expected to occur for some time, probably after 2025 (when the Boulder City Bypass is completed).

In the meantime, while we wait for Interstate 11 to come, there is always talk of extending Interstate 515 north and south of its current termini, but there has not been any official discussion of that yet. There are three possible extensions of Interstate 515:

  1. U.S. 93 southeast into Arizona. Interstate 515 may be extended south along U.S. 93/95 through Railroad Pass (elevation 2,367 feet) past the interchange at U.S. 95, along the four-lane bypass around Boulder City, and onto the Hoover Dam Bypass arch bridge, which is currently under construction. Current plans for the Boulder City Bypass call for U.S. 93 to be designated as Interstate 515.
  2. U.S. 95 south to Laughlin. Another option is to extend Interstate 515 south along U.S. 95 via Searchlight to Laughlin and possibly Needles, California (Junction Interstate 40). This would match up with the current exit numbers for Interstate 515, which utilize U.S. 95's mileage. U.S. 95 south of U.S. 93 is planned to be constructed as a four-lane expressway, but it is unclear if it will be built to Interstate standards or not.
  3. U.S. 95 north to Centennial Parkway and Indian Springs. North of the Spaghetti Junction, U.S. 95 is a freeway all the way to Clark County Route 215 (Centennial Parkway). A major improvement study is underway for U.S. 95 north of Interstate 15, and this may result in Interstate-standard improvements.

None of these proposals is official, so it's all speculation at this time. However, once the Hoover Dam Bypass is completed in 2009, it is possible that it will be added to the Interstate Highway System due to its importance in the regional transportation network.

Highway Guide

Southern Terminus - U.S. 93 and U.S. 95 - Henderson, Nevada
Perspective from Interstate 515 north
Northbound Interstate 515 begins once the U.S. 93-95 expressway assumes Interstate standards just southwest of Henderson; the shields above announce the beginning of the Interstate. Yes, the Interstate begins at a seemingly arbitrary point away from civilization. These shields are located at that point just past Railroad Pass. Photos taken November 2000.
Perspective from Interstate 515 south
View of southbound Interstate 515 as it approaches its southern terminus in Henderson. Photo taken 11/11/00.
After passing the Horizon Drive interchange (Exit 59) and Boulder Highway (former U.S. 93-95) interchange (Exit 56), southbound Interstate 515 approaches its southern terminus. Photo taken 11/11/00.
As it reaches the foothills and leaves the Las Vegas Valley, the freeway begins to narrow. By the time the highway reaches Railroad Pass, it is only an expressway without controlled access. Photo taken 11/11/00.
The southern terminus of Interstate 515 is well-signed, complete with end shields. U.S. 93-95 continue straight ahead. The freeway reverts from concrete to asphalt, and a stoplight is ahead at Railroad Pass. Photo taken 11/11/00.
This view of shows the backside of the end shields that are posted along southbound. We are looking northwest against oncoming southbound traffic. Photo taken 11/11/00.
This bridge over the wash is the last Interstate-standard structure on Interstate 515 southbound; the road converts from concrete to asphalt at this point too. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Northern Terminus - Interstate 15 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Perspective from Interstate 515 north
Northbound Interstate 515 and U.S. 93-95 approaching Junction Interstate 15. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/01.
Northbound Interstate 515 and U.S. 93-95 at Junction Interstate 15. Note the overhead sign here only reads U.S. 95. As far as I know, there is no END shield present at this recently reconstructed interchange. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/01.
Perspective from Interstate 15 north
Northbound Interstate 15 approaching Junction Interstate 515 and U.S. 93-95. This is the recently reconstructed Spaghetti Junction, one of the Interstate 15 high-priority corridor projects. Photo taken 11/11/00.
This massive interchange is far more effective with its recent reconstruction. Interstate 515 traffic has three choices: continue in the main lanes along northbound U.S. 95; turn north along Interstate 15 and U.S. 93 toward Glendale and Mesquite; or turn south along Interstate 15 toward the Las Vegas Strip. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Perspective from Interstate 15 north
Northbound Interstate 15 on transition to Northbound U.S. 95 expressway. You can see the Interstate 515 southbound off-ramp in this picture. Photo taken 11/11/00.
Perspective from U.S. 95 south
Begin Interstate 515 southbound along U.S. 95 southbound. Photo taken by Jeff Royston, 12/00.

Page Updated August 23, 2009.

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State Nevada
Mileage 20.54
Cities Las Vegas, Henderson
Junctions Interstate 15
Source: December 31, 2014 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-515 Nevada Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
Clark U.S. 93-95 Exit 56/ Railroad Pass 32,135
Clark Exit 56/ Railroad Pass Exit 57/ Wagon Wheel 38,000
Clark Exit 57/ Wagon Wheel Exit 58/ College Blvd. 34,450
Clark Exit 58/ College Blvd. Exit 59/ Horizon Drive 41,200
Clark Exit 59/ Horizon Drive Exit 61/ Lake Mead Dr. 58,000
Clark Exit 61/ Lake Mead Dr. Exit 63/ Sunset Road 73,100
Clark Exit 63/ Sunset Road Exit 65/ Russell Road 84,500
Clark Exit 65/ Russell Road Exit 67/ Tropicana Ave. 100,000
Clark Exit 67/ Tropicana Ave. Exit 68/ Flamingo Road 118,000
Clark Exit 68/ Flamingo Road Exit 69/ Boulder Hwy. Valley Rd. 120,500
Clark Exit 69/ Boulder Hwy. Valley Rd. Exit 71/ Charleston Blvd. 122,100
Clark Exit 71/ Charleston Blvd. Exit 73/ Eastern Avenue 124,100
Clark Exit 73/ Eastern Avenue Exit 74A/ Las Vegas Blvd. 146,300
Clark Exit 74A/ Las Vegas Blvd. Exit 74B/ Casino Center Blvd. 145,000
Clark Exit 74B/ Casino Center Blvd. Exit 76/ Interstate 15 131,550
Source: The Annual Traffic Report [2001] (Nevada Department of Transportation)