Las Vegas traffic came to a complete standstill on key roadways Friday evening. The congestion interfered with what is shaping up to be a busy weekend for gaming properties since casinos only recently began operating at full capacity.
Traffic on Interstate 15 came to a complete halt for over three hours for miles in both directions at Tropicana Avenue. Tropicana Avenue over I-15 also was clogged for multiple hours.
It began at about 5:30 pm. Traffic did not begin to flow again until about 9 pm.
But even then, motorists were encouraged to use alternate routes until traffic congestion lessened much later on Friday night.
Motorists were stuck in their cars with hot temperatures outside. On Friday, McCarran International Airport reported the temperature reached the prior June 4 record high of 109 degrees.
The reason for the traffic standstill was described in local media as “police activity.” Many police officers were seen in the area.
KTNV, a local television station, reported one man was apprehended by police at the highway. Initially, KTNV said the traffic tie-up was because of a man threatening to jump from a bridge. The report could not be confirmed by Casino.org.
Tie-Ups Follow Memorial Day Traffic Congestion
The traffic tie-up comes just days after another major traffic holdup over Memorial Day weekend. The recent holiday weekend ended in Las Vegas with a jam on the freeway to Southern California.
On Memorial Day, motorists heading back to Los Angeles and other Southern California destinations on Interstate 15 from Las Vegas casinos saw traffic jams as long as 26 miles, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Drivers and passengers were also stuck in cars in scorching temperatures during the holiday. The thermometer in Las Vegas hit 100 degrees on Memorial Day, which was the first triple-digit reading since last October.
Starting on June 1, Clark County casinos were once again allowed to operate at 100 percent capacity. The milestone came after over a year of either shuttering of casinos or requiring them to operate at lower capacity as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Only some hotel-casinos in Las Vegas were given permission by regulators in May to operate at full gaming floor capacity. In May, most Las Vegas gaming properties were operating at 80 percent capacity.
Increasing Number of Visitors
The number of visitors heading to Las Vegas has been on the rise in recent months. In March, more than 2.2 million visitors made their way to the Las Vegas Valley, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That was an increase of almost 46 percent over February’s visitor volume of 1.5 million.
Las Vegas was one of the top travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).