Federal Steel Tariffs Driving Up Las Vegas Construction Costs

LAS VEGAS, NV – Steel tariffs instituted by the United States government have begin to make their presence felt upon several high-profile, ongoing construction projects in the Las Vegas area, driving up costs of many beyond the scope of their original estimates, according to reports.

Northwest Vegas’ Centennial Bowl construction has seen some issues related to the tariffs; an estimated $12 million has been added to the project’s original projected costs of the newest phase of work, a huge amount that the Nevada Department of Transportation has attributed to the newly-imposed taxes placed upon imported steel from several foreign sources. It is unknown if attempts were made to procure steel from domestic sources in order to avoid additional cost overruns.

The Centennial Bowl initially began construction in August of 2015, with the stated purpose of the project being a widening and upgrade to a six-mile segment of U.S. Highway 95 in northwest Las Vegas in order to reduce traffic congestion and provide a more efficient and safe corridor of travel for local residents. The project will expand the highway from its current four lanes of travel to an eventual six lanes, running from Durango Drive to Kyle Canyon Road. That work, coupled with a new series of entrance and exit ramps, is expected to create some much-valued breathing room for area motorists.

Currently, over than 52,000 vehicles traverse this section of highway with that amount of motorists anticipated to increase by at least 50 percent in the next 20 years. Needless to say, an upgrade was sorely needed. The first phase of work was finished in 2016; the next phase is due to begin at the end of 2018.

The Department of Transportation selected Las Vegas Paving as the main contractor for the new phase of the Centennial Bowl project, which involves building an additional three parkway ramps that will serve to join the 215 Beltway and U.S. Highway 95, in addition to two flyover bridges.

All of this construction involves a great deal of steel-reinforced concrete, and the initial estimate of $49-$59 million was bumped up to approximately $61.5 million, with the increased costs being attributed to the new steel tariffs. When the project cost was first estimated, structural steel was approximately costing $3.25 per pound and reinforcing steel $.80 per pound; officials now note that structural steel comes in at $9 per pound and reinforcing steel $.94 per pound.

The current deadline for completion of the new phase of the project is 2020.

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