Construction began on a $318 million highway bypass project in Boulder City, Nev. that will connect Las Vegas and Phoenix via Interstate 11.
With a completion date forecasted for 2018, the project is expected to create 4,000 jobs and reduce travel time between Las Vegas and Phoenix by 30 minutes. The two cities are currently the largest metro areas in the U.S. without a linking interstate.
The 15-mile project will be built from I-515 to U.S. 93, dipping south around Boulder City before connecting with the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge.
The $318 million project is being built in two phases. The Nevada Department of Transportation will be responsible for a 2.5-mile stretch of road from I-515 to U.S. 95.
The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada will build 12.5 miles from U.S. 95 to U.S. 93 at the Hoover Dam bridge. The project will be funded using $291 million in federal funds, $22 million generated by a recent increase in the county gas tax and $5 million in state funding.
The Interstate 11 project still needs to secure billions of dollars in funding from the federal government. In order for the project to be completed, a long-term funding solution is needed, project officials say.