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Temporary lane to relieve I-15 traffic between Southern California and Las Vegas

BAKER, CA - AUGUST 19: North Soda Mountains, left, home to the desert longhorn sheep, along I-15 looking south, at the Zzyzx Rd. offramp on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Baker, CA. A desert big horn ram was killed Feb. 18, 2020 along I-15 northbound. The Injuries to the ram were consistent with a vehicle collision and found at postmarker 130.18, near the Zzyzx Rd. overpass. Desert bighorn sheep advocates call for wildlife bridges over a stretch of the I-15, just south of Baker and the Mojave National Preserve where a planned Mojave Desert high-speed rail project would link Southern California to Las Vegas. The group wants the project's private owner, Brightline West of Miami, Fla., to fund the overcrossings as part of an effort to mitigate the ecological destruction caused by its $8-billion rail system. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
North Soda Mountains, left, along I-15 looking south, at the Zzyzx Road offramp on Aug. 19, 2021, in Baker, Calif. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Good news for drivers leaving Las Vegas.

Starting Sunday, Caltrans will open a temporary lane on southbound Interstate 15 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and Mondays to alleviate traffic heading toward Southern California and away from Sin City.

Caltrans completed the first stage of the project, a transition lane starting in the border town of Primm, Nev., and crossing over the California state line, in fall 2022. The agency has now finished renovating the road shoulder for periodic use. Extra roadside message boards will remind drivers when the shoulder is available for travel.

Busy I-15 is notorious for traffic jams on holidays.

Following Thanksgiving weekend in 2022, motorists returning to Southern California from Las Vegas had nothing but bad luck as traffic on the main route across the Nevada border backed up for 16 miles.

The highway bottleneck started just south of Primm on the Nevada side of the border and added about an hour to the drive from Las Vegas to Ontario, Calif., said officials with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.