Vegas residents face traffic nightmare ahead of Formula 1 race

Mercedes' George Russell drives during a demonstration along the Las Vegas Strip at a launch party for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

By Emilia Pablo
November 8, 2023

Bus routes that normally take minutes are taking almost an hour through Las Vegas Boulevard, as the city undergoes massive construction projects in preparation for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix next week.

The 50-lap race around the picturesque 3.8 mile, 17-turn circuit will see the shutdown of Las Vegas Boulevard between Nov. 15 and 18 as drivers compete in a race that will help determine the winner of 2023 Formula One World Championship. 

One of the main intersections already closed is Tropicana Avenue where it meets with Highway 15 — that area is usually a busy route that takes you directly to the Las Vegas strip; however, these days, the closure is  causing delays throughout the perimeter of the strip.Lanes are also closed on the Las Vegas strip north of Harmon Ave  and south of Sands Ave, right around Treasure Island, as this part of the Las Vegas strip is part of the race course. 

Track barriers and fencing have been placed throughout the course, to keep the race cars in the lanes, and lighting equipment and fixtures are also being installed.

The city’s preparations are having a significant impact on local residents, who are struggling to navigate the construction and traffic delays. Lanes are closed on the strip, and travelers are forced to reroute to a distant road.

“It’s horrendous. We got up an hour, two hours ahead of time to make it on time and still not make it,” Shariff Green said to Channel 13.

“It’s crazy all the construction they are doing,” said Chuy Hernandez, who is visiting Las Vegas and also spoke to Channel 13.

How are employees getting to and from work?

According to the Nevada Current, Caesars Entertainment employees can park on property or at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where they can catch a shuttle to work. Similar measures are in place for MGM Resorts International employees. 

According to Channel 13, Clark County and Formula 1 are launching an SMS tool to keep the public updated on lane closures, road work, and traffic issues. To opt-in to the service, you can text F1LV to 31996. 

The SMS tool gives you options, Spanish or English — then, you can choose to obtain information on road closures and details about paving, bridges, track lighting, and track barriers. When you select road closures, you are taken to a landing page with information about ramps closed, roads closed, reduced lanes, race tracks, and vehicle bridges.

F1 reminds the public that the track will be busy from 5pm to 2am on event days and that roads begin to close at 5pm.

According to race officials, anyone enrolled in the SMS  system will receive a text message on  Sunday with a link that shows what work is scheduled for the week ahead.

  • Emilia Pablo

    Emilia Pablo Bazan is The Nevadan, El Nevadense Political Correspondent. She is an alumna from U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism with over 10 years of experience working in the television news industry. She's also a former speechwriter and press officer for the Obama administration and an Emmy award recipient.

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