Traffic to realign around Bluff-Sunset intersection as roadwork continues

ST. GEORGE – More traffic pattern changes are on the horizon for the Bluff Street project.

Starting July 17, crews will create a new traffic alignment at Bluff Street’s northern end from 1300 North to 700 North, as well as the Bluff Street-Sunset Boulevard intersection, according to the Utah Department of Transportation’s weekly email updates.

The shift in traffic is needed so the contractor can create a work zone for the final part of the intersection.

“It is anticipated traffic will be in this configuration for about three weeks,” according to the UDOT advisory. “The contractor is focusing manpower and resources on this part of the project to get it built as quickly and safely as possible.”

Read more: So what is this Bluff Street project all about?

What follows are maps and notes detailing the how the traffic shift will play out, courtesy of UDOT.

Current Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard lanes are shown as dark gray. The new lanes on both streets are shown as light gray with yellow markings starting July 17, 2018. | Graphic courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News
  • Northbound Bluff Street traffic has been shifted to the furthest east side of Bluff Street and southbound traffic has been shifted parallel to northbound Bluff Street.
  • On the top left, the grey lanes with orange dots – these will be orange barrels on the actual road – shows eastbound Sunset Boulevard traffic and westbound Sunset Boulevard traffic shifted onto the newly built Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard intersection.
  • The red work zone is where the last section of the intersection needs to be built.
Current travel lanes are shown as dark gray. The new lanes used during this temporary “T” intersection are shown as light gray with yellow highlighting starting July 17, 2018. | Graphic courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News
  • To give crews the area to build the road in the work zone top map, the traffic control team will create a temporary “T” intersection at Diagonal Street and Bluff Street as shown above.
  • Southbound Bluff Street traffic will enter the signalized intersection where motorists can turn left and continue south on Bluff Street or turn right to connect with Sunset Boulevard and continue west.
  • Northbound Bluff Street traffic will enter the signalized intersection and proceed straight to travel west on Sunset Boulevard or make a right turn to continue north on Bluff Street.
  • Eastbound Sunset Boulevard traffic will travel over the newly created Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard intersection and enter the “T” intersection. Motorists wanting to travel south on Bluff Street will stay to the right. Motorists wanting to travel north on Bluff Street will make a left turn.

All movements in the “T” intersection are controlled with temporary signals except traffic traveling from eastbound Sunset Boulevard to southbound Bluff Street. This traffic movement will be a through lane with no stopping, according to UDOT.

The 30 mph speed limit remains in place though the work zone and motorists are asked to be patient while moving through the area.

Changed lanes and Diagonal Street closed at 700 West

Overall traffic configuration on Bluff Street between 100 South and 700 North changed last week when traffic lanes were moved from the east side of the roadway to the west side due to road work. Traffic lanes will remain this way until September.

Read more: Bluff Street work to shift to east side of roadway until September

Diagonal Street at 700 West is also closed until September.

There is no right turn from Bluff Street onto Diagonal Street and no right turn access from Diagonal Street to northbound Bluff Street.

Work schedule

Crews work from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some night and weekend work done as the project continues.

The Bluff Street widening project is slated to conclude in the fall and was reported to be 40 percent complete by mid-June.

Alternative routes

Individuals who generally use the Sunset Boulevard to Bluff Street to St. George Boulevard corridor as their primary east-west route through town may want to consider Dixie Drive or Valley View Drive connecting to Sunset Boulevard, or Red Hills Parkway connecting to Snow Canyon Parkway as alternate travel routes.

Top: The current configuration of the Bluff Street-Sunset Boulevard intersection. Bottom: The intersection configuration designed to help traffic flow access Sunset Boulevard much more easily as without as much traffic backup. | Image courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

Details of road widening and improvements

  • Upgrading and improving all utilities that are buried in the current roadway, including storm drain, culinary water, sewer, fiber optics, gas, electrical and an upgraded advanced traffic management system.
  • Increasing capacity with additional northbound and southbound lanes from 100 South to 1250 North through this heavily traveled section of road.
  • Reconfiguring the intersection at Sunset Boulevard and Bluff Street to improve safety, traffic flow and handle projected traffic increases.
  • Adding a dedicated right-turn lane from westbound St George Boulevard to northbound Bluff Street to improve safety and mobility.

State and city road planners have said for years that improvements to northern Bluff Street are needed to better handle current and future congestion concerns that accompany the area’s continuing growth.

Bluff Street carries over 44,000 vehicles every day, with that number expected to climb to 65,000 by 2040 as the population climbs from over 150,000 to around 321,000.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Carpe Diem July 14, 2018 at 8:39 am

    OK, the small before/ after graphic doesn’t jive with the video, it shows all eastbound traffic with a white line to stop it at the light to allow SR18 traffic to continue east. (before pic shows the two lanes going non stop onto Bluff – new pic shows the traffic light stop lines) Also, they’ve raised elevations and it isn’t addressed anywhere… It looks like a jump ramp going over the ped crossing enclosure, landing on the new eastbound Sunset to Bluff lanes laid in the cut. I presume the new work area will be filled with many yards of road base materiel as they need to bridge the gap. The raised platform of the roadway seems a bit odd however I suspect it was necessary to accommodate the ped crossing which otherwise would always be flooded… still the base of which seems low.

    • #resist July 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Chaos I tell you… Chaos!

      • Carpe Diem July 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        Indeed. It was fixed for “Decades to come” last time.

        • SteveSGU July 16, 2018 at 2:14 pm

          Indeed. Let’s hope this plan works better.

  • Carpe Diem July 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    If anyone is interested, there are some killer motorcycle jumps being set up there right now. Bring your motocross!

  • SteveSGU July 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    First, the hill is called the Black Hill, not “West Black Ridge.” (The hill on the east side of town is called Foremaster Ridge.)

    The only worthy aspect of this whole project seems to be letting the traffic flow from Bluff to Sunset and vice versa. What will happen to the southbound traffic from Hwy. 18? I assume a ramp up and over the big Bluff/Sunset intersection will be necessary. I didn’t see that explained.

    • Carpe Diem July 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Yeah the ramp has me puzzled too.

      Anyway, I talked to a City employee on a random visit in town, he told me this was all being funded with PRIVATE money, the builders of the 10,000 homes across from Sun River needed water, and part of this construction work was to reclaim the irrigation gutter water for culinary use. So to mitigate the impacts on water requirements etc they needed to drop 150 MILLION on this project. OF course UDOT and the City are involved but according to him, that was the bill they were required to pay.

      10,000 homes x say 30,000 impact fee per lot is $300,000,000.

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