ST. GEORGE – The scenic Red Hills Parkway, which arcs up and over the northern corridor of St. George, is one of the next public works enhancement projects the City of St. George is undertaking to alleviate congestion from its primary roads.
Larry Bulloch, Public Works Director for St. George, said the $16 million public works project, $3 million of which will be City funded and the balance federally funded, has been awarded to a local contractor, JP Excavating, Inc. “It’s a big job,” he said.
Bulloch said that it involves widening Red Hills Parkway, which runs 3.5 miles from Bluff Street to Industrial Road, from two lanes to four lanes, includes a 40 mph project design speed and includes creation of a trail and some landscape features.
“It is part of a beltway around the entire region, [a] 50-mile beltway that connects Ivins, Santa Clara and St. George, with the objective to reduce inner-city congestion by allowing higher speed travel around the city,” Bulloch said. “This is what we call the northern corridor, it ties into the western corridor which will go south from Ivins to I-15 at Milepost 2 – and then we’ve got a segment completed that goes from Milepost 2 to the airport and it will continue north to SR-9 and then connect back to the freeway and into this project.”
The Red Hills Parkway project is slated to begin end of this month or early November and will be an ongoing work with completion targeted for sometime during the summer of 2012.
“We are able to work year round, we don’t always pave [year round] but there’s plenty to be done,” said Bulloch. “We will maintain one lane of travel in each direction most of the time, there may be some incidental work that may require some road closures, such as installing culverts, [but we] expect there to be minimal road closures.”
Although this is a City project with Red Hills Parkway being a City road, Kevin Kitchen, Media Spokesperson for Utah Department of Transportation’s Region 4, said that UDOT is the administrator to aid in the transportation process, and given the federal funding contribution.
Southern Utahns will likely be pleased that this contract has been awarded locally, but it is not a result of preference for the contractor’s locale. Kitchen said that awards are made based upon a regulated bidding environment that follows federal regulation. “So if a firm in Las Vegas can do it cheaper than a firm in Utah, and they bid it that way and meet all of the requirements, they are awarded the bid,” said Kitchen. “Basically the state administers federal money programs as well as our own state funds and a lot of the preservation type of work you see has federal money on it, it has to do with the delivery.”
That said, both on this project and the Bluff street repaving project, reported separately, contractors local to St. George did come in with the most favorable bids and have been awarded the contracts, which is surely positive for our local economy.
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