Allow extra travel time through Virgin River Gorge, rockfall containment work

Crews work on one of the bridges being upgraded and rehabilitated in the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, 2014 | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 along the Virgin River Gorge in the far northwest corner of Arizona, should plan ahead for construction delays up to 15 minutes now and throughout the week for rockfall containment work, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

There have been some traffic delays Monday, traffic has been heavy and by some reports at a standstill this afternoon due to construction work. As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, northbound traffic is improving but still backed up, Arizona Department of Public Safety highway patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said.

In addition to the ongoing construction work on Virgin River Bridge No. 6, crews are currently removing rocks within the work zone through Jan. 23. This rockfall containment work requires rolling lane closures to allow for the safety of both the construction crews and the traveling public.

While one travel lane will remain open in each direction, motorists should slow down and drive carefully through work zones and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

The $27 million rehabilitation of Virgin River Bridge No. 6 began in March 2014, and is anticipated to be completed in 2016. This significant project includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure (girders, deck and railings), as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the gorge.

Drivers should allow for up to 15 minutes extra travel time during construction, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional delay time may occur on weekends due to heavier traffic volume and special events.

The busiest travel times through the Gorge are Friday through Sundays. With limited alternate routes due to the remote location of the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, ADOT urges drivers to plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at AZ511.gov or call 511; outside of Arizona dial 1-888-411-ROAD (7623).

For more information about this project, visit the website.

Submitted by the Arizona Department of Transportation

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10 Comments

  • DB January 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I can vouch for the delay. Southbound, we came to a stop for five minutes or so and there wasn’t anyone going by in the northbound lanes at all during that time.

  • MUFFIN MAN January 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Your “visit the website” link is broken.

    • Julie Applegate January 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Muffin man, thank you for pointing that out – it has been corrected.
      Julie Applegate
      St. George News

  • BB January 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    The reason it is like that is because the Arizona highway patrol will block off traffic and drive about 10-15 miles an hour so that the construction workers can either move equipment or blast without anyone being in the area driving on the road. I work in mesquite and have to commute and without fail get stuck behind one of these at least one of my trips if not both.

  • UTCOWBOY January 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I just go around it…. call me when it’s done

  • Justme..... January 17, 2015 at 6:01 am

    After a dozen years of trying to play bingo on work holidays I feel qualified to guess that the gorge closures are timed to impede fast traffic at peak travel days. If you plan to head south on any national holiday you should also plan on the gorge being full of cones and cops. It’s how they do it in Utah…

  • RandMcnally January 17, 2015 at 7:09 am

    is the Virgin River Gorge in Utah or Arizona.?

    • San... January 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      It is…I think….governed and patrolled by both but it is considered the AZ strip.

      • My Evil Twin January 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        The gorge is in AZ. It is patrolled by AZ DPS & Mohave County Sheriff. Utah units, UHP, SGPD,WCSO all respond for “assists” there.

  • yep January 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Went through the gorge at about 10am today. Had a pace car leading us the entire way save the last couple miles. Had us going around 30mph.

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