After an earthquake prompted the closure of several flyover ramps in Las Vegas’ Spaghetti Bowl interchange on Friday, transportation engineers said the bridges remain safe for travel. The magnitude-4.8 earthquake happened at 11:47 a.m., and was centered in Caliente, NV, about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. The earthquake was later downgraded from a 5.3 to a 4.8 magnitude earthquake by the USGS. Immediately after the temblor, emergency crews shut down the ramps from U.S. Highway 95 southbound to both directions of Interstate 15. The Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard ramp to I-15 southbound was also closed. This allowed crews to inspect a gap that appeared in the 95 ramp to I-15 southbound after the quake.
According to Mary Martini, District I engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, the gap existed before Friday’s earthquake, but the tremor shook loose a protective rubber casing that was covering the seam of the bridge, making the damage appear worse than it really was. “We’re issuing an emergency contract to repair the seam,” Martini said. “Meanwhile, the ramps remain structurally sound and safe for travel.” The ramps, which Martini said are made of cast-in-place concrete and steel reinforcements, reopened just after 4 p.m. They will remain open through Memorial Day, Martini said. FULL REPORT