Department of Transportation seeks public comment on I-15 bridge overhaul

Interstate 15's Virgin River Bridge No. 1, Beaver Dam, Arizona, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – An Interstate 15 bridge spanning the Virgin River by Beaver Dam and Littlefield, Arizona, is the next target of rehabilitative roadwork in the near future.

Known as “Bridge No. 1” by Arizona Department of Transportation officials, it follows work done in recent years on the bridges through the Virgin River Gorge.

Virgin River Bridge No. 1 from below, Beaver Dam, Arizona, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

Officials are taking public comment on the upcoming Bridge No. 1 project Nov. 29 from 6-8 p.m. at the Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 9, Littlefield, Arizona. A formal presentation is scheduled from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Those unable to make the meeting can review the project’s environmental assessment study on the ADOT website and comments online at Azdot.gov/VRB1Comments

Bridge No. 1, like the bridges built in the Virgin River Gorge prior to their recent reconstruction, hasn’t undergone a major overhaul since it was built in 1964.

While minor repairs have enabled it to meet growing transportation needs, the bridge is in need of comprehensive repair and rehabilitation, according to ADOT officials.

During a study of the Bridge No 1, road planners identified three issues to be resolved: structural deficiencies, the ability to accommodate high volumes of truck traffic and the need to support interstate and regional travel.

A preferred design solution to replace the bridge and widen the roadway shoulders in construction phases has been proposed.

ADOT has committed $50 million in 2020 to renovate the bridge and $5.5 million in 2019 to rehabilitate other I-15 bridges as a part of a current five-year construction program.

Reconstruction of the last bridge through the gorge, Bridge No. 6, wrapped up in July 2016, bringing a temporary end to seemingly constant roadwork on I-15 through the gorge that started in 2014 and cost an estimated $27 million.

Read more: A huge relief: Virgin River Gorge bridge work complete, officials say

Prior to the work on Bridge No. 6, ADOT reconstructed Bridges No. 2, 3 and 7 between 2013 and 2014, and engaged in a repaving project in 2012 before that. The Arizona stretch of I-15 runs 29 miles between Utah and Nevada and is considered a critical transportation artery by road planners.

Event details

  • What: Public hearing for the Bridge No. 1 project.
  • When: 6-8 p.m., Nov. 29. A formal presentation is scheduled from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Beaver Dam Lodge, 452 Old Highway 9, Littlefield, Arizona.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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4 Comments

  • paul November 23, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Great back to the gourge again !!!!!! why don’t they JUST get it all done ,,,that should be a blast going through there they do more dang projects in there just get it all done

  • Caveat_Emptor November 23, 2017 at 7:54 am

    The recently completed project on I-15, across the Virgin River in Bloomington, had a couple traffic flow issues that finally were dealt with.
    1. UDOT took too long to slow traffic through the construction zone, and 60 mph was still pretty fast considering the lane shifts, and merging required.
    2. UDOT took way too long to realize that their temporary closures were causing serious problems with merging traffic, both northbound through the Brigham Rd on-ramp, and Dixie Drive southbound. Narrowing traffic to one lane before the northbound merge was finally implemented, after many near misses and lots of frustrated drivers. Southbound traffic was equally messed up thanks to forcing Bluff St. southbound to combine with Dixie Drive, before entering I-15. UDOT failed to consider the implications of the shortened distance to merge into traffic often heading southbound at 60 mph, or higher…..

    These AZ bridge replacements are comparatively easier, because they are standalone structures, without complex on and off ramps in the immediate vicinity. Time to pull out the Traffic Engineering 101 textbook and read about “zipper-merge”. If you get two lanes merged into one, well before the construction zone, you maximize the flow thru the bottleneck.

    • DB November 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Is the Dixie Dr / I 15 onramp finished? If so, great, as I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. Re: utahdiablo below, construction isn’t limited to UT and AZ. I drove 5000 miles over the last four months, as far east as CO and north to OR. Those orange barrels were everywhere, especially on many two lane roads that became one lane. Good thing I was on vacation.

  • utahdiablo November 23, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Both the state flags of Utah and Arizona need to have “Orange cones” made into it….that’s all we see anyway nowadays

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