ST. GEORGE – State, regional and local transportation officials came together Tuesday to share current and future projects with the public at the annual Dixie Regional Transportation Expo in St. George.
The expo helps show the public the short-term and long-term transportation plans for the county, said Kevin Kitchen, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation. It also helps show how the differing agencies that oversee road projects work together and just who is in charge of what.
“It helps people understand how infrastructure comes forward and who’s under what jurisdiction and how they all correspond together,” Kitchen said.
Road planners like going to the expo because it helps them get input from the people who use the roads and interstate, Kitchen said. It gives the planners a “broad collection” of insights that can help direct the course of the project in both small and large ways, he said.
A current project public input had in impact on prior to its start is the Bluff Street corridor project.
Comments gathered a few years ago helped redesign an original plan for the Bluff Street-Sunset Boulevard intersection, while also making way for pedestrian and bicycle facilities where none previously existed.
The Bluff Street project started in January. Work is anticipated to last a year and is anticipated to help relieve congestion through the area.
UDOT oversees the Bluff Street Corridor project, and is just one of various ongoing and future projects in the works.
Utah Department of Transportation
Another project UDOT is engaged in is the reconstruction of state Route 9 through Springdale. The overall project is in its second phase and is projected to wrap up by mid-April.
Read more: Work on SR-9 through Springdale set to begin – from October 2017
A stretch of SR-9 past LaVerkin and heading toward Springdale is also the site of a future passing lane, Kitchen said.
The next segment of state Route 7, better known as the Southern Parkway, will ultimately run on the eastern side of Sand Hollow Reservoir and connect to SR-9. UDOT is re-evaluating the original environmental study of the project to make sure it is up to date so it can move forward with construction.
Road planners are also meeting with a citizens committee in Washington City about the MP 11 Project. An environmental assessment of the area between Exits 10 and 13 of Interstate 15 is taking place to determine the best possible way to help alleviate congestion at the notorious Green Springs/Exit 10 interchange.
Thus far planners have looked at 40-plus concepts for the area, which will likely incorporate a multifaceted solution in the end, Kitchen said.
The idea of an interchange somewhere between Exits 10 and 13 has been floated in previous years and has met with sharp opposition from residents due to its potential location in the city’s residential downtown area.
Other future UDOT projects included widening I-15 to three lanes between both miles 6-8 and 22-28.
While engaged in the Bluff Street corridor project to a degree, the city has been repaving Bloomington Drive for around six months now and is nearing completion.
The aged roadway is being replaced with a smooth blacktop that is friendlier to cyclists and motorists alike, city engineer Jay Sandberg said.
Road design is being done for streets leading to the incoming Crimson Middle and High schools. While the schools are in Washington City, Sandberg said, the roads some will be taking to reach the schools are in St. George.
River Road in the area of Riverside Drive and 1450 South is projected to be widened, with more accessibility for left turns in order to move traffic more efficiently.
The city is also partnered with UDOT and Dixie State University to build a pedestrian underpass under I-15 at 400 South. The underpass will connect 400 South’s western and eastern halves and allow for easy access to the city’s eastern side. The $2.5 million project is seen as a way to provide university student with easier access between school, home and work, as off-campus housing and employment are also had on the city’s eastern side.
Among Washington City’s forthcoming projects is connecting Washington Parkway with Green Springs Drive. The $5 million project will connect Green Springs Drive to Exit 13, and will also tie Main Street into Washington Parkway at some future date.
The project is moving into the environmental study phase, with building likely occurring in over a year or two, said Mike Shaw, Washington City’s public works director.
There are also plans to connect Merrill Road to Washington Fields Road.
The city is also working with Hurricane and Washington County on the proposed Purgatory Road, which would connect to Washington Dam Road-Southern Parkway interchange as one end and connect to SR-9 at the other.
The environmental study for the Purgatory Road is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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