Virgin River Gorge roadwork will cause 224-mile detour for some vehicles, delays for all motorists

Stock image, St. George News/Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The Arizona Department of Transportation announced Monday that motorists should be prepared for around-the-clock restrictions and intermittent delays on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge beginning in May and continuing through spring 2020.

Vehicles over 10 feet wide will be required to use a 224-mile detour around the Virgin River Gorge starting in early April 2019 | Map from Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click to enlarge

Update May 3, 2019: According to Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms, all stakeholders in the project met May 2 and have decided to begin the project after Memorial Day weekend so as to not negatively impact travel on the holiday weekend. Construction is now scheduled to begin on May 29.

During the first phases of the construction, northbound and southbound I-15 will be narrowed to one lane between mileposts 13 and 16, which will cause delays, especially during high-traffic times.

In addition, because of the terrain within the gorge and the narrow width of I-15, the 3-mile work zone will be restricted for vehicles wider than 10 feet. All loads wider than 10 feet must use a 224-mile detour route as crews repair three bridge decks along the narrow highway in northwestern Arizona. The 10-foot restriction is for oversize loads only, Bottoms said. All commercial traffic and large motorhome and travel trailers will fit within the the narrowed lane.

Crews will also move traffic over to one side of the highway while working on the other, providing one travel lane in each direction. Drivers should plan for delays and allow extra travel time while sections of I-15 are narrowed to one lane in each direction.

Wide-load detour

Signs will direct wide-load traffic to the detour route of US 93, Nevada state Route 319 and Utah state Route 56 between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Cedar City, Utah (see map above).

Alternate route

Those seeking an alternate route to avoid traffic can take Highway 91, which can save travel time and reduce congestion in the Virgin River Gorge.

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

The highway bypasses the gorge entirely, intersecting with I-15 at Exit 8 in Littlefield, Arizona, to the south and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard.

ADOT is advising motorists to slow down and use caution around construction personnel and equipment. Drivers should also prepare to merge into the other lane.

The $6.4 million project will rehabilitate three bridge decks on I-15. Work is scheduled to begin in April and last at least one year. For more information, please visit the project website.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.



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