Primm may be known as the first stop in Nevada for drivers coming from California on I-15 for casinos, dining, and shopping, but it's also gaining a less desirable reputation.
The Primm area has become known for hellacious traffic jams for travelers on southbound I-15 coming back to California on Sundays after a weekend in Vegas. These backups can extend from Jean to Primm, up to Mountain Pass, California, and beyond on I-15.
We aren't just talking about ½ hr backups due to accidents. We're talking about 10+ mile backups where traffic is at a crawl for much of the day on Sundays.
These traffic jams can provide a benefit for Primm as drivers looking to escape the crawling pace may take the Primm exit to spend time hitting the slots, grabbing a bite, getting a Starbucks, or otherwise passing the time hoping the traffic will clear out.
Other activities in Primm include shopping at the Prizm Outlets, fueling up or charging your electric vehicle, buying lottery tickets at the Primm Lotto store, or playing a round of golf at Primm Valley Golf.
The Nevada Department of Transportation is finally taking action to help alleviate the traffic problems, at least on the Nevada side. Starting in May 2021, they will be doing a 16-mile repaving project on I-15. The project extends from the California border in Primm to a few miles north of Jean.
In addition to visitors from Southern California, this busy stretch of I-15 also is the main route to Southern Nevada, Utah, on up to Idaho and Montana, making it a popular trucking route. Heavy truck travel accounts for about ten percent of total traffic.
In addition to asphalt repaving, the road construction project also includes two added miles of guardrail, frontage road upgrades, new signage, desert tortoise fencing repair, and Intelligent Transportation Systems improvements.
While this $11 million repaving project should help traffic flows in the long term, it will mean more pain in the short term. This project, combined with reopening following lockdowns due to the health situation, means traffic will likely get worse before it gets better.