Traffic advisory: Virgin River Gorge Traffic backed up 4 miles; 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 along the Virgin River Gorge Thursday should expect traffic delays due to heavy traffic volume through the Gorge construction zone.

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

“The backup is fluctuating between 3-4 miles in length,” Bottoms said in a text message to St. George News at 10:22 a.m. Thursday.

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

Bottoms urges motorists to always stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them when driving. Following too close, particularly in a construction zone, creates an unnecessary safety risk which 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.

While one travel lane remains open in each direction, 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 | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image from | 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.


  • To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 511; outside of Arizona dial 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
  • For more information about this project, visit the website

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  • Mean Momma April 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    What about southbound? Does it get backed up at all? I’m traveling south Friday evening around 5 pm, will the traffic usually be backed up going south around that time? I know about the alternate route. Just wondering what my chances of getting stuck in construction are…

  • Lastdays April 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Lets see, traveling southbound through gorge on Easter weekend Friday at 5pm…………..Yes, it will definitely be backed up. Go over Utah Hill on 91 just for fun.

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