Las Vegas Sun

October 2, 2014

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Transportation Board questions $2.8 million for consultants on highway project

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Transportation Board isn’t happy about spending $2.8 million for out-of-state legal and financial consultants for the giant Neon project to expand Interstate 15 along the Las Vegas Strip.

Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon told the board “there’s been a lot of concern” that local consultants were not hired to get the project ready to bid next year. But, he said, local financial and legal firms did not have the expertise to put together the project.

The department has hired the legal firm of Nossaman LLC for $1.4 million and Ernst and Young for $1.39 million as the financial consultants to chart the way for the $1.2 billion project. This will be the largest public-private partnership ever in constructing a highway in Nevada.

Gov. Brian Sandoval questioned whether the state would be paying $500 an hour while an attorney is flying to Nevada. The range for the legal contract is $450 to $600 an hour.

Sandoval also expressed concerns that there would be amendments, particularly on the legal contract, to increase the amount paid by the state.

“We have seen this happen with very expensive amendments,” he said.

Assistant Transportation Director Scott Sisco said expenses “will be watched very closely.”

Malfabon said there will be some trips by the lawyers to Nevada, but other sessions will be conducted by telephone or video conference.

The project, a 3.7 mile section of I-15 from south of Sahara Avenue to the Spaghetti Bowl, is expected to go out to bid by February. The department is looking for a firm to help finance and build the expanded highway.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.