Interstate 15 in Nevada

Interstate 15 in Nevada

Interstate 15 marker

Interstate 15
Route information
Maintained by NDOT
Length: 123.77 mi[1] (199.19 km)
Major junctions
South end: I-15 at California state line
  I-215 / CC 215 near Paradise
I-515 / US 93 / US 95 in Las Vegas
CC 215 near North Las Vegas
US 93 in Clark County
North end: I-15 at Arizona state line
Highway system

Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

Nevada highways

US 6 SR 28

In the U.S. State of Nevada, Interstate 15 begins in Primm, continues through Las Vegas and it crosses the border with Arizona in Mesquite. The freeway runs entirely in Clark County. Many motorists use Interstate 15 to visit Las Vegas, as it is the only primary Interstate Highway in the city. The highway was built along the corridor of the older U.S. Route 91 and Arrowhead Trail, eventually replacing both of these designations.


Route description

A mileage sign on I-15 northbound just past SR 146 in the Las Vegas Valley

Motorists in California leave the mountainous Mojave Desert and begin a long descent through Ivanpah Valley and Ivanpah Dry Lake. Interstate 15 crosses the Nevada state line at the first exit, Primm.

Once Interstate 15 leaves Primm, the route travels north through the desert with few services. The highway then enters the Las Vegas urban area upon passing the State Route 146 (Saint Rose Parkway) interchange. Quickly thereafter, the interstate meets Interstate 215, or the Southern Beltway Interchange, which provides access to Henderson and McCarran International Airport. Originally, this interchange was termed Son of Spaghetti Bowl by the Las Vegas Review-Journal when the interchange was built.[citation needed]

Interstate 15 travels along the west side of the Las Vegas Strip corridor and just west of downtown Las Vegas just before its junction with Interstate 515 and U.S. Route 95 (the "Spaghetti Bowl" interchange). Then the interstate enters North Las Vegas and continues to run roughly parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard (old US 91) as it leaves the Las Vegas urban limits near the northern junction with the Clark County 215 beltway.[2]

Once Interstate 15 leaves North Las Vegas, the freeway travels northeast and crosses the Muddy River at Glendale and then climbs up onto the Mormon Mesa. At Mesquite, the freeway then crosses the Arizona state line and cuts through the extreme northwestern corner of Arizona through the Virgin River Gorge before entering Utah.


I-15 southbound at exit 27
State Route 6 was signed along the I-15 corridor circa 1919.
U.S. Route 91 replaced SR 6 until it was succeeded by I-15 in 1974.

Early routes

The general location of Interstate 15 through Nevada can be traced as far back as the early 1900s. Regular automobile travel through southern Nevada was established by 1914 along the Arrowhead Trail, a road connecting Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.[3] In 1919, the Nevada Legislature amended its newly-adopted highway law to add State Route 6, which was described as "Commencing at the Arizona line near Mesquite and running southwesterly over what is now known as the Arrow Head [sic] trail through Las Vegas to Jean, Nevada."[4] Two years later, the route was revised to pass through Las Vegas and head "via Jean or Goodsprings to a junction with the California state highway system."[5]

U.S. Route 91 was later proposed as part of the original 1925 U.S. Highway System plan. As originally proposed, US 91 would have followed SR 6 southwest from Mesquite to downtown Las Vegas, where it would then turn southeast along State Route 5 to California via Searchlight.[6] The revised 1926 plan had proposed US 91 follow SR 6 through Las Vegas and Jean to the California state line.[7] Nevada's 1927 official highway map reflects the routing of the final 1926 plan; however, a few maps from the era indicate the original proposal.[8][9]

US 91/SR 6 began at Primm and followed the Los Angeles Highway towards Las Vegas. Within the city limits, it ran along Fifth Street (now Las Vegas Boulevard) through downtown and into North Las Vegas. Exiting the Las Vegas area to the north, US 91 became the Salt Lake Highway as it headed north towards Apex and Glendale. The highway then followed present-day SR 170 through Bunkerville into Mesquite. US 91 was routed through the city on Mesquite Boulevard, Sandhill Boulevard and Fairview Avenue before crossing the Arizona state line. By 1929, the alignment of US 91/SR 6 was graded throughout much of the state, a distance of 129.5 miles (208.4 km).[10]

The route eventually gained two other highway overlaps. U.S. Route 466 was christened in 1934, and was routed concurrently along US 91 from California to downtown Las Vegas before heading southeast to Hoover Dam (the route was deleted in 1971).[11] Also, in 1939, U.S. Route 93 was extended from its previous southern terminus at Glendale, over US 91 to downtown Las Vegas on its way to Hoover Dam.[12]

Interstate development

Las Vegas Boulevard (old US 91) parallels Interstate 15 in Primm, just north of the California state line

A new alignment of US 91 was completed in 1955. This bypassed both Bunkerville and Mesquite to the northwest, along what would become the future path of Interstate 15.[13] The original alignment through Bunkerville is now SR 170.

The passage of the Interstate Highway Act in 1956 quickly brought upgrades to the US 91 corridor. The first section of the newly-designated Interstate 15 opened by 1960. This stretch extended from the California state line to just north of Sloan.[14] In 1963, the new freeway reached the south end of the Las Vegas Valley at Blue Diamond Road, and more than 20 miles (32 km) south of Glendale was also finished.[15] By 1967, I-15 had been constructed along the entire length of US 91 except through parts of Las Vegas and near Mesquite.[16]

The final sections of I-15 to be completed were in North Las Vegas and near the Arizona state line.[17] Both of these sections were both completed in 1974. The US 91 designation, which had remained on its original alignment during the construction of the interstate, was made redundant by the new freeway and was removed by 1975.[18][19]

Between Las Vegas and the Nevada state line, the Nevada Department of Transportation added callboxes at one-mile (1.6 km) intervals in the mid-2000s, used for motorists who end up with vehicle problems and don't have access to a cell phone.

Exit list

The entire route is in Clark County.

Location Mile[20][21] Exit Destinations Notes
Primm 0.39 1 Primm  
Jean 12.63 12 SR 161 – Jean, Goodsprings
  25.52 25 Sloan
(unincorporated Las Vegas)
27.19* 27 SR 146 (Saint Rose Parkway) / Southern Highlands Parkway – Henderson, Lake Mead
31.38* 31 Silverado Ranch Boulevard
33.55 33 SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road) – Pahrump
34.85 34 I-215 east / CC 215 west / Las Vegas Boulevard – McCarran Airport, Henderson
(unincorporated Las Vegas)
36.39 36 Russell Road (SR 594), Frank Sinatra Drive No southbound access to Frank Sinatra Drive; southern terminus of express lane
37.40 37 Tropicana Avenue (SR 593), Frank Sinatra Drive – UNLV No southbound access to Frank Sinatra Drive
38.35 38 Flamingo Road (SR 592) Signed as exits 38A (west) and 38B (east) southbound
39.16 39 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas 40.55 40 Sahara Avenue (SR 589) Northern terminus of express lane
41.75 41 SR 159 (Charleston Boulevard) Signed as exits 41A (east) and 41B (west/Grand Central Parkway) northbound
42.89 42 I-515 south / US 93 south / US 95 / Martin L. King Boulevard – Reno, Downtown Las Vegas, Phoenix Signed as exits 42A (north) and 42B (south) northbound; south end of US 93 overlap
43.47 43 D Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
43.60 44 Washington Avenue (SR 578) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
North Las Vegas 44.72 45 Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147)
46.45 46 Cheyenne Avenue (SR 574)
48.44 48 Craig Road (SR 573)
50.15 50 Lamb Boulevard (SR 610)
52.12* 52 CC 215 west
53.65 54 Speedway Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard Serves Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  58.16 58 SR 604 – Apex, Nellis AFB
  64.31 64 US 93 north (Great Basin Highway) – Pioche, Ely North end of US 93 overlap
  75.70 75 Valley of Fire, Lake Mead
  80.78 80 Ute
  84.56 84 Byron
  88.71 88 Hidden Valley
  90.86 90 SR 168 – Glendale, Moapa Southbound exit is via exit 91
  91.63 91 Glendale, Moapa No southbound entrance
  93.91 93 SR 169 – Logandale, Overton
  100.45 100 Carp, Elgin
  112.03 112 SR 170 – Riverside, Bunkerville
Mesquite 120.37 120 West Mesquite (I-15 Bus. north)
122.92 122 East Mesquite (I-15 Bus. south)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened


  1. ^ Route Log- Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 1
  2. ^ Interstate 15 projects pile up on
  3. ^ "Arrowhead Trail (1914-1924)". State Historic Preservation. Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  4. ^ Statutes of the State of Nevada Passed at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Legislature. Carson City, Nevada: State Printing Office. 1919. pp. 23–24. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ Statutes of the State of Nevada Passed at the Thirtieth Session of the Legislature. Carson City, Nevada: State Printing Office. 1921. pp. 383–384. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  6. ^ Droz, Robert V. (2003-02-24). "1925 US Highway Plan". U.S. Highways: from US 1 to (US 830). Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  7. ^ Droz, Robert V. (2005-02-28). "US Highways in 1927". U.S. Highways: from US 1 to (US 830). Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  8. ^ Nevada Department of Highways (1927). Highway Map of the State of Nevada (Map). 1 in. = 25 mi..,455. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  9. ^ Rand McNally and Co. (1927). Rand McNally Junior Auto Map (Map). 
  10. ^ Nevada Department of Highways (1929). Highway Map State of Nevada (Map). 1 in. = 25 mi..,457. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  11. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1934). Official Road Map of Nevada (Map).,463. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  12. ^ Nevada Department of Highways (1939). Official Road Map of the State of Nevada (Map).,471. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  13. ^ Nevada Department of Highways (1955). Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,499. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  14. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1960). 1960 Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,509. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  15. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1963). 1963-1964 Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,513. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  16. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1967). 1967 Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,517. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  17. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1973). 1973 Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,529. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  18. ^ Droz, Robert V. (2008-10-29). "North–South Routes - US 1 to US 101". U.S. Highways: from US 1 to (US 830). Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  19. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1975). 1975 Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map).,531. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  20. ^ Nevada Interchanges & Structures: I-15. Nevada Department of Transportation. January 1998. 
  21. ^ Mileposts with an asterisk (*) indicate mileage as posted at the interchange by the Nevada Department of Transportation

External links

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