Road planners want to study potential I-15 interchanges in St. George, Hurricane

Traffic on Bluff Street in St. George, Utah, March 5, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Road planners have proposed studies to determine whether new interchanges on Interstate 15 in Hurricane and St. George would be feasible or folly.

During a meeting of the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization’s technical advisory committee Wednesday, Utah Department of Transportation officials suggested two studies that would look into the possibility of interchanges at miles 7 and 18 of I-15.

This is just a conceptual look to help us make a decision on a long-range plan at a future date,” UDOT representative Kirk Thornock said.

The intent of the studies is to provide base information for future municipal, county and state road planners in case they decide to go ahead with the idea of the interchanges, which could be 20 to 40 years from now.

Road planning agencies like UDOT and the Dixie MPO plan out future road projects years and decades in advance and routinely update their long-range plans. The proposed interchanges are not on the long-range plans and the proposed studies would simply provide a framework for future road planners to consider.

Read more: Still leery of downtown interchange, residents review proposed options for I-15 milepost 11 project

This would be providing more in-depth numbers and a better understanding of what an interchange may look like and how it will affect the roads around it,” Thornock said.

In general, the mile 7 interchange in St. George would potentially be in the area of 700 South, while an interchange at mile 18 would be in Hurricane’s industrial park near DATS Trucking.

Hurricane approached UDOT about a possible interchange in its industrial park, Thornock said, noting the future growth anticipated for the area.

The St. George location has been looked at before, though the proposed feasibility study would add more details for future planners to consult, he added.

“Since neither of these interchanges are on our long-range plan, basically we would just be gathering information that would eventually play into a (future) plan if it showed significant impact or improvement on traffic,” Dixie MPO Director Myron Lee said. “It would be good to have data so we can do further analysis in our long-range plans.”

In order to get the studies off the ground, UDOT requested $30,000 from the Dixie MPO for funding, with matching funds being supplied through the state.

The advisory council voted to recommend funding for the studies. The group that will ultimately approve funding is the MPO’s executive committee which meets late this month.

Improvements made to SR-9 during reconstruction through Springdale include wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes on both sides of the road. Springdale, Utah, May 16, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Both Lee and Thornock reiterated that the studies were focused on examining the concept of an interchange in the proposed Hurricane and St. George locations. The studies will help spell out whether the concepts should be considered.

Updates on current and future road projects were also given during Wednesday’s meeting.

UDOT is working on adding and extending passing lanes on state Route 9 between Virgin and Rockville. It is also providing a new coating on SR-9 through part of Hurricane to help prevent water from getting into the road.

Read more: New roadwork set to begin on SR-9 passing lanes

Near-future UDOT projects include completion of the final leg of state Route 7, also known as the Southern Parkway, around Sand Hollow reservoir to SR-9, and work on the Exit 16 interchange.

Approximately $3.5 million will go toward work on state Route 59, Thornock said. That would include expanding the shoulder with gravel along parts of the road and adding passing lanes.

SR-59 overall has been slated for future work, according to UDOT’s long-range transportation plans.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , , ,

6 Comments

  • justsaying September 5, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    An exit 18 makes sense, 7 not so much

  • Steve September 5, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I can’t foresee an interchange at 700 South being feasible. Yes it would be useful, and appreciated, but it would be a VERY costly addition, mainly because several businesses and a few residences would have to be demolished just to put it in.

    I can definitely see an interchange being very useful out near milepost 18 in the future!

  • tcrider September 6, 2018 at 8:04 am

    700 makes total sense because of location between other exits.
    Block green springs drive near the golf course and force everyone in green springs to take the back corridor to exit 13 after it is built.
    green springs is the heart of the problem with congestion at red hills parkway.
    green spring develolpers refuses to build any bike trails and Washington city owns golf course, they will not allow bikes on golf course trails.
    I say force green springs to travel to exit 13, end of problems for another day.

    • tcrider September 6, 2018 at 8:33 am

      Just found out about the development and construction that already started of a strip mall and hotel or hotels directly behind the chevron station at
      intersection of greensprings and beunavista or redhills parkway.
      It seems like there is absolutely no planning with Washington city when it comes to developers and designing a city.
      I would definitely call this a leadership issue with Washington city.

    • RVer September 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Not every location is ideal or suitable to bike trails. You can’t expect them everywhere. That area is one that really isn’t, and trying to design them in may not be practical.

      If they want to do an interchange out by MM18, they may also want to look at doing something with Old Highway 91 too.

  • utahdiablo September 6, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    As to “Old 91” near Dats trucking? I contacted both Udot and Hurricane City about repaving years ago, it’s a total POS as to road condition, and they both told me to go pound sand….so a new interchange makes some sense now, why spend the money when it’s going to be torn up anyway in the near future….just wait until the new 18 exit / interchange is built, the Tortoise reserve will be next to go, along with the area by “Doc Adams / Harrisburg” will also go so we can build build build!!!….Hey we got to have 600,000 people here by 2040….It is written

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.