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Native Animal Statues Occupy I-15 | Public Spaces

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Native Animal Statues Occupy I-15
Native Animal Statues Occupy I-15

Drivers will notice something unusual the next time they pass by I-15 near Blue Diamond.

Two large statues of Nevada's native bighorn sheep are now part of the landscape. The artwork is part of the I-15 Design-Build South Project. Besides the sheep the area is landscaped with native plants including yucca, acacia, and Joshua trees some of which are 200 years old.

"Definitely a sense of pride for the community as well," said Michelle Booth spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Transportation. "A lot of people drive in from Southern California so they come in and it is really nice that they see that we also have aesthetics as well.  And it is not about gambling or gaming. This celebrates Nevada as well."
Booth also pointed out that the funding for the artwork and landscaping doesn't come from the state's general fund. It is a separate area of money which means funding for schools and other essential services were not impacted by using the money for art.  The artwork and landscaping is part of the Department of Transportation's effort to use 3 percent of a project's budget for aesthetics. Local metal and landscaping companies were used to create the area. In all, the state has 45 different statutes that it has placed along I-15. 

Progress is being made on the freeway project. The new ramp from I-15 northbound to I-215 east and westbound was opened. It is now a mile south from its original location Friday. It is now before the Blue Diamond exit.