Courtesy of NDOT
An aerial view of the engineer’s concept of the proposed changes at the Garnet Interchange at U.S. 93 and Interstate 15. Note the diverging diamond interchange where the southbound and northbound lanes cross. Traffic will have to observe a stop sign there and continue when clear.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is building a modified diverging-diamond interchange at the convergence of I-15 and U.S Highway 93, the Garnet Interchange (built in 1963), at the Love’s Truck Stop.

Tony Illia, NDOT Public Information Officer, said the design-build team of Ames Construction, with Horrocks Engineering, was the best value bidder last summer for the $58 million project, located just north of Apex Industrial Park in north Las Vegas.

It is the third diverging interchange on NDOT’s system, and the first constructed in a rural environment.

Illia explained the old 1-15 bridge will be replaced. A change made to the configuration of a modified diverging-diamond interchange will allow left turns to be made without conflicts from oncoming traffic.

In addition, he said, Highway 93 “will be widened to four lanes, (with possible future widening to six lanes) in each direction for five miles from the interchange to just north of Apex Power Parkway. Other work consists of reconstructing a frontage road along Apex Great Basin Way, Apex Power Parkway, and Grand Valley Parkway.”

Illia reported, “The Ames team proposal provided the best value and quickest completion schedule of the project finalists. Their plan minimizes traffic impacts during construction, while still delivering a high-quality project with continuing plans for landscaping and aesthetics to commemorate the Old Spanish Trail.”

The project started in August 2017, and Ames Construction expects to have it finished at the end of 2018.

Illia said doing a “design-build” project eliminates the middleman, so to speak. “We’re working with an engineer and construction team as one unit. This way, we developed a summary of what we want, what we hope for, and then the engineer-contractor teams submit proposals.”

He explained, “The benefit to doing design-build is that it creates single-source responsibility and makes communication a lot easier.”

The work is only intended to go five miles northward on U.S. 93 at this time, Illia said.

In the meantime, Emilia Cargill, of Coyote Springs, said the construction work that is happening along U.S. 93, west of Coyote Springs, is not related to the Garnet Interchange project.

“It’s just coincidental that they are occurring at the same time; the highway construction is a completely separate project,” she said. “Admittedly, it does slow everybody down a little bit, going back and forth on 93, either to Coyote Springs or beyond, but we work closely with their construction manager and the group that is putting it together. We alert all our golfers and send out reminders. We stay on top of it.”

“What we are doing here,” Cargill explained, “is to put in under crossings to help with storm water that might come and hit the highway. We put in four 90-inch reinforced concrete pipes. It protects the highway, slows stormwater runoff down through the basin, and directs it to go under the roadway.”

She added, “Meadow Valley Construction has been doing the work for us and have done a great job.”