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Locals and Visitors Struggle Around Interstate Closure | News

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Locals and Visitors Struggle Around Interstate Closure
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Locals and Visitors Struggle Around Interstate Closure

LAS VEGAS -- Locals and visitors fought to get around a major interstate closure this weekend. 

Construction crews are working around the clock on a railroad bridge over Interstate 15 near the Las Vegas Strip.

Drivers found the closure to be frustrating.

"I tried to drive home last night and the freeway closures had already caused three accidents," said Coleman Johnson.

He is a part-time Las Vegas resident who was caught in the traffic near the famous ‘Welcome to Las Vegas' sign Saturday night. The detour had slowed traffic to a crawl on Las Vegas Boulevard.

"On a weekend when everyone is trying to get to Las Vegas, this is when Las Vegas makes its money, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and they closed the freeway from Friday night to Sunday night, really?" questioned Johnson.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says crews are working as fast as they can to replace the railroad bridge.

"We tried to pick the weekend after Memorial day. Electric Daisy Carnival is the following weekend, so we felt this was a pretty good weekend to execute something like this," said Michelle Booth of NDOT.

Crews have to move bridge supports as they complete the widening project on the I-15 near Russell Road.

"There is never a good time to shut down the I-15. If you shut it down during the weekdays, you're also talking about people who need to get to work and business, so there really is never a good day," explained Booth.

NDOT officials say they are using a new technique to move the massive parts of the bridge into place and that's one reason for the closure. Officials say if they had done it the old way, it would have reduced lanes on I-15 for weeks.

Officials hope to have southbound lanes open by 5 p.m. Sunday.

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