Traffic advisory: Virgin River Gorge traffic backed up; use alternate route

Traffic backed up on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge does not depict the actual scene and is used for illustration only, Arizona, March 12, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge Wednesday should expect traffic delays due to heavier than normal traffic volume through the Gorge construction zone.

Heavy traffic has vehicles backed up northbound on I-15 as drivers enter the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said.

“Please advise your readers and listeners to avoid NB I-15 through the AZ Strip for the next several hours,” Bottoms said in a text message to St. George News at 12:41 p.m. Wednesday.

Motorists traveling through the area are advised to plan ahead and allow for traffic and construction delays and to drive with extra caution.

Bottoms urges motorists to always stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them when driving. Following too closely, particularly in a construction zone, creates an unnecessary safety risk that oftentimes results in drivers skidding off into the median when the car in front of them stops or slows, he said.

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.

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

Alternate route and tips for drivers

Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image from Mapquest.com | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image from Mapquest.com | Click on map to enlarge

Those seeking to avoid the construction work in the Virgin River Gorge may take Highway 91 as an alternate route. The highway bypasses the Gorge entirely, intersecting with I-15 at Littlefield, Arizona, to the south and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.

Resources

  • 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 888-411-ROAD (7623)
  • For more information about this project, visit the website

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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