Traffic advisory: Accident causes traffic back-up on I-15

Traffic moving through the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, date unknown | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge Thursday should expect delays due to a vehicle accident. As of 4:01 p.m., traffic in the northbound lanes was backed up more than 3 miles.

A commercial vehicle crashed into the canyon wall in the Gorge construction area, slowing traffic as passersby slowed to look at the accident, Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said. While the vehicle has been removed, traffic is still congested as 4:40 p.m.

Motorists traveling through the area are advised to allow for traffic and construction delays and drive with extra caution.

Motorists are always urged to stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them when driving, Bottoms said.

Following too closely, particularly in a construction zone, creates an unnecessary safety risk, which often results in drivers skidding off into the median when the car in front of them stops or slows, he said.

Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image created on Mapquest.com, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image created on Mapquest.com, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

Alternate route and tips for drivers

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

Bridge work continues

As the Arizona Department of Transportation continues to make progress on the reconstruction of the Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6 in Arizona, the agency is urging drivers to slow down and allow extra travel time as delays are expected while construction continues through the summer.

Current roadwork is focused on the $27 million rehabilitation project for Bridge No. 6. located at milepost 16 on I-15, around 20 miles south of St. George.

Starting sometime in July, single-lane travel in each direction is expected to shift to the new, wider northbound bridge and ADOT will then start work to rebuild the southbound bridge.

The project includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure – girders, deck and railings – as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the Virgin River Gorge.

Resources

  • To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at AZ511.gov or call 511; outside of Arizona dial 888-411-ROAD (7623)
  • For more information about this project, visit the website

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