Interstate 515 is the Interstate-standard section of the Las Vegas / Oran K. Gragson Expressway in Las Vegas. Also known as U.S. 95 (and U.S. 93), I-515 angles southeast from Interstate 15 by Downtown Las Vegas to the Henderson bypass and freeway end ahead of Railroad Pass.
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.
Once Interstate 11 is built from Phoenix to Las Vegas, the entire route of Interstate 515 through Henderson and Las Vegas may 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).
Previous talk of extending Interstate 515 north and south of its current termini excluding official discussion, involved three possible extensions of the route:
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 then under construction Hoover Dam Bypass arch bridge. Current plans for the Boulder City Bypass call for U.S. 93 to now be designated as Interstate 11.
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 the mileage of U.S. 95. 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.
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).
Interstate 515 was first established by AASHTO back on July 13, 1976 from I-15 east to the jnciton of U.S. 93 and 95.
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.
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.