The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) will open the pedestrian bridges at Tropicana Avenue (State Route 593) and Las Vegas Boulevard tomorrow, December 21, by 3 p.m. in Clark County. The 23-year-old structures have undergone a $34 million upgrade that entailed replacing 16 escalators (four at each corner) with new state-of-the-art equipment, while making aesthetic and safety improvements, including placing new tempered glass wind screens and polished aluminum composite material panel cladding as well as new lighted hand railings.

“This project will greatly improve the safety and efficiency of pedestrian traffic flows at one of the most active pedestrian corners in the state,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “It will also create a sleek contemporary look consistent with the newer pedestrian bridge crossings along Las Vegas Boulevard, injecting some new glamour to the Strip.”

The 16-foot-wide, 165-foot-long concrete-and-steel structures each have 17-foot clearance heights. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is the construction manager at-risk, with Jacobs as engineer and Studio West as architect. The bridges provide crucial connections between the MGM Grand, Tropicana, Excalibur and New York-New York hotel casinos, which combine for 15,000 hotel rooms.

“These structures serve roughly 130,000 pedestrians a day, making them one of the busiest crossings in the state,” said NDOT Senior Project Manager Jeff Lerud. “These are the first and oldest pedestrian bridges in Southern Nevada.”

Bridge enhancements had been scheduled for completion by mid-2018, but the department fast-tracked construction to finish before year’s end. Elevator enhancements, however, will be ongoing through March 2018, including new electronics, tempered glass and air conditioning units.