New bridge work in Virgin River Gorge to cause delays, restrictions on I-15

Traffic backed up on northbound Interstate 15 entering the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, May 22, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Stacy Williams, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A little over three months after extensive work on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge was completed, motorists traveling between Mesquite and St. George can once again expect delays on northbound I-15.

This August 2020 file photo shows a semitractor-trailer that crashed on northbound Interstate 15 on Bridge no. 7, Virgin River Gorge, Ariz., Aug. 8, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Beaver-Dam Littlefield Fire, St. George News

The Arizona Department of Transportation said in a statement that it will be performing bridge repair work starting Monday morning that will continue through Nov. 13.

The release said the reason for the bridge repairs so soon after more than a year of work on the bridges on the interstate was a recent accident, though the statement did not specify when the accident took place. which accident that was. One possibility could be the crash of a semitractor-trailer on Aug. 8, which caused a fireball that sparked a small brush fire and necessitated bridge inspections.

Due to the Virgin River Gorge terrain and the narrow width of I-15, crews must reduce the width of the travel lanes. Similar to previous restrictions, vehicles wider than 10 feet will be restricted from entering northbound I-15 in the gorge.

ADOT advises wide-load vehicles will need to take a 224-mile detour route using U.S. Route 93, Nevada state Route 319 and Utah state Route 56 between Las Vegas and Cedar City.

For other drivers looking to avoid any possibility of getting stuck in traffic in the Virgin River Gorge, there is the alternate route – Highway 91.

Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Click to enlarge | Image courtesy of, St. George News

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 advises drivers who opt to stay on I-15 to allow extra travel time and plan for around-the-clock restrictions. Drivers are asked to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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