Nevada highway officials plan to seek out a financial adviser to help them move forward with plans to establish a public-private partnership to establish high-occupancy toll lanes along Interstate 15 in Las Vegas.
The board that governs the Nevada Department of Transportation last week approved in concept the I-15 HOT lanes as a demonstration project.
“The financial structure has not been determined at all. That was one of the items that needs to be addressed,” NDOT assistant director of administration Robert Chisel said in an interview this week.
In all, the project would cover 19 miles of both Interstates 15 and 215, Chisel said.
“There is a conversion of existing carpool lanes and there will be additional capacity added in system-to-system interchanges for the ramps,” he said.
Chisel said the financial adviser would help NDOT structure the state legislation it will need to implement the project. Among other things, lawmakers would have to legalize the collection of tolls — currently prohibited in Nevada — and permit the electronic monitoring system that would be needed for electronic toll collection.
NDOT is also consulting with federal highway officials, said spokesman Scott Magruder.
He expects the department will receive federal authorization through language in the 2005 federal transportation authorization bill that encourages congestion-pricing projects.