Traffic Advisory: Go around; 2-mile backup on I-15 in Virgin River Gorge

Stock Image| St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE, Ariz. — Heavy weekend traffic on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge is backing up the northbound lanes.

“The current backup is about two miles and steadily growing,”  Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms said.

As of 12:21 p.m., the traffic backup in the northbound lanes had reached two miles, and motorists are advised to plan for extra travel time to get through the Gorge or to use an alternate route.

Construction projects in the Gorge are contributing to the delays and backups.

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

ADOT Bridge rehabilitation project

Bridges in the Virgin River Gorge were originally constructed in the 1970s. When this section of highway was built, it was the most expensive rural interstate highway built per mile. It was completed in 1973 after a decade of construction.

In January 2014, ADOT began work to modernize and rehabilitate bridges through the Gorge. Work on three of the bridges has been completed, specifically surfaces for Virgin River Bridge No. 2 at milepost 13, Bridge No. 3 at milepost 15 and Bridge No. 7 at milepost 22.

Work began on Bridge No. 6 in the spring of 2014 and is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2016. Bridge No. 6 involves a $27 million rehabilitation project replacing the bridge’s superstructure — girders, deck and railings — as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the Gorge.

Ed. note: Work on Bridge No. 6 is expected to be completed in May and the paving project will be finished in June.

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  • Henry April 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Julie, you report that construction is scheduled to be completed “in the spring of 2016” – which is now. Could you find out a ballpark month/ week for completion from ADOT, so we can schedule our travel plans accordingly? Thank you!

    • Julie Applegate April 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      That information has been added to the article.

      Julie Applegate
      St. George News

  • .... April 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    If all goes well they will have this project nearly finished by 2025

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