Upcoming I-15 bridge work in Virgin River Gorge will cause delays

In this file photo, ADOT crews pour concrete for the reconstructed northbound Bridge No. 6 on I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, circa June 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of ADOT, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Motorists traveling Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge should expect delays of up to an hour from March 8 through March 10 as crews pour the final piece of the concrete bridge deck, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph around Virgin River Bridge No. 6, where the southbound bridge span is being reconstructed. Traffic in both directions is already using the adjacent northbound bridge, and the lower speed limit is needed to minimize vibration from traffic and allow the concrete to cure properly.

The reduced speed limit will be in place from 8 a.m. March 8 to 11:59 a.m. to March 10.

During this period, commercial truck traffic will be restricted to loads up to 40 tons. While that is the legal limit for trucks across the rest of the state, commercial trucks using I-15 are normally allowed up to 64.5 tons.

The southbound bridge at milepost 16, midway between Mesquite, Nevada, and St. George, Utah, remains closed for the reconstruction project, which is scheduled to be completed by this summer. Work on the adjacent northbound bridge was completed last summer.

The project

The $27 million reconstruction project began in 2014 and includes the replacement of the bridge superstructures — girders, deck and railings — as well as widening the roadway through this stretch of the Virgin River Gorge.

With limited alternate routes available in this corridor, drivers should plan ahead, allow extra travel time, slow down and drive carefully through the work zone and be alert for additional construction equipment, crews and law enforcement personnel.

Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from Mapquest.com
Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from Mapquest.com

Alternate route

Those seeking to avoid the traffic backup in the Virgin River Gorge may take Highway 91 as an alternate route. The highway bypasses the Gorge entirely, intersecting with I-15 at Exit 8 at Beaver Dam, Arizona, to the south and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.

For more information about the I-15 Virgin River Bridge project, please visit the ADOT project webpage.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center website or call 511. For those outside of Arizona, please dial 1-888-411-7623.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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