ST. GEORGE - The Utah Department of Transportation opened the state’s newest interchange to traffic early this morning providing the City of St. George with a new connection to Interstate 15.
The Dixie Drive Interchange at Exit 5 includes 6 bridges to move I-15 traffic over the Santa Clara River and local Dixie Drive traffic both over and onto the interstate.
Construction workers also built a new double-barreled tunnel to channel bikes, pedestrians and drainage under I-15.
Engineers increased the transportation capacity in the geographically constrained area by tying the new interchange at Exit 5 to the existing Bluff Street Interchange at Exit 6 with new collector-distributor lanes.
The tandem interchange system should also help alleviate traffic pressure during major events at the adjacent Dixie Center.
Construction workers built an extension of Dixie Drive on a new alignment giving local drivers an additional east-west corridor in the city and more local street connections. The City of St. George worked to time adjacent street construction projects to coincide with the interchange construction and made use of the new alignment to enhance the Southgate Golf Course, landscaping and local trail connections.
UDOT advises motorists to use caution while drivers adjust to the new on-and-off-ramps and signals.
Northbound I-15 motorists wanting to exit I-15 at Bluff Street should be prepared to move right earlier to get into the new lanes. All vehicles making left turns onto, or off of, the interstate will cross through the signal lights and over the I-15 travel lanes.
Construction began June 2010.