Temporary ‘Dropicana’ configuration for F1 may be test run for Super Bowl weekend

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Formula One races down the Las Vegas Strip next week, but not without another potentially impactful road project that may cause driver DeJa’Vu during February’s Super Bowl.

They are changes to one of the busiest interchanges in Nevada: the Tropicana bridge over I-15. Some drivers may refer to the area as “Dropicana,” the widening and heightening project that began there in January 2023.

Drivers have navigated the new diverging diamond interchange (DDI) ever since, which temporarily reroutes traffic to the opposite side of the road before redirecting traffic back onto the appropriate side. The 105,000 ticket holders for next week’s F1 race are provoking temporary changes to the temporary configuration.

A hard closure started Sunday night from Dean Martin Drive, over the bridge, to New York New York, which is scheduled to last until early Wednesday morning. All associated freeway on and off ramps are closed too.

Drivers will awaken Wednesday to new travel lanes after the DDI, created from lanes that were once “Dropicana” work zones. Justin Hopkins, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) public information officer, said a fifth travel lane on I-15 north directly below the bridge will also become available to traffic.

“We’re able to free up some of that space because we’re taking away some of our work zones. So, we still need to push back and get back into the work zones,” Hopkins said on the western portion of “Dropicana” construction Monday morning when asked why the changes are not long-lasting. “We’re very hopeful that that is going to help when we get this huge influx of visitors, lots of tourists who may not understand the construction work we got going on here.”

Drivers will also be unable to turn west onto Tropicana from the I-15 north exit. Hopkins said crews are moving concrete barriers, creating new street striping, and installing new signage during the near three-day closure.

But, don’t miss these changes for too long. NDOT expects to implement a similar configuration ahead of Super Bowl weekend at this interchange, though Hopkins acknowledges that more of the bridge work will be completed, which means more travel lanes and less congestion.

It’s a reaction to the two new mega events in the valley, especially as Hopkins says the Las Vegas Grand Prix and Super Bowl LVIII were announced after the Dropicana schedule was accepted. NDOT still expects the multi-year project to end in mid-2025.

“We started this project before we ever knew there was going to be a Las Vegas Super Bowl here in 2024, and before we ever knew there was going to be an F1 race,” Hopkins said. “We’ve really done a lot of work to try to mitigate that, and try to work around those major events.”

NDOT urges drivers to check for “Dropicana” construction updates by either downloading the dedicated I15Trop mobile app or visiting the project’s website.

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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