Virgin River Gorge: Bridge demolition starts Tuesday, expect delays; alternate route

Crews work on one of the bridges being upgraded and rehabilitated in the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, 2014 | Photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge should plan ahead for construction delays of up to 15 minutes, as bridge demolition begins Tuesday, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Arizona bridges 2, 3 and 6, Interstate 15, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona | Image courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News
Arizona bridges 2, 3 and 6, Interstate 15, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona | Image courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Traffic is scheduled to be switched to the southbound lanes Tuesday at the Virgin River Bridge No. 6 at Arizona mile marker 16 to allow for demolition of half of the existing bridge structure. While one travel lane will remain open in each direction, motorists are reminded to slow down, drive carefully through work zones and watch for construction equipment and personnel.

The $27 million rehabilitation of Virgin River Bridge No. 6 began in March, and completion is anticipated in 2016. This major project includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure, including its girders, deck and railings, as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the Gorge.

Drivers should allow up to 15 minutes extra travel time weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during construction. Longer delays may occur on weekends due to heavier traffic volume and special events. The busiest travel times through the Gorge are Friday through Sunday. With limited alternate routes available for the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, ADOT urges drivers to plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions. Unscheduled restrictions or closures may occur. To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions in Arizona, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 511; outside Arizona, telephone 888-411-7623.

Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from
Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from | Click on image to enlarge

Alternate route and tips for drivers

Those seeking to avoid the construction work in the Virgin River Gorge may take Highway 91 as an alternate route. The highway bypasses the gorge entirely, intersecting with I-15 at Littlefield, Arizona, to the south, and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.


  • For information about this project, visit ADOT’s Virgin River Bridge webpage
  • For questions about the project, email ADOT or call the project hotline at 1-855-712-8530.

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  • KOOLAID December 14, 2014 at 8:41 am

    They could easily demolish this bridge by diverting St George drivers through the gorge where instead of crashing into trees, retaining walls, buildings and other vehicles, they would crash into the bridge and bring it down.

  • fin_amour December 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

    And they choose to do this right before Christmas, when tons of people will be traveling. Genius!

  • Paul December 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

    They go back and forth with the gourge get it done for heaven sake just saying!!!!!

  • Billy Madison December 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    It sounds like they should pave a new freeway following Old 91 and use the gorge as a temporary shortcut during the few times when it is actually travel-able. A year ago the gorge was shutdown because of a snowstorm.

  • Shelly December 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Bridge building / reconstruction takes a lot of time. Old highway 91 is not so bad, just takes a little extra time. Sometimes it’s a little icy in the winter, so it’s a good idea to slow down a little on all those curves on the road.

  • Tater Salad December 15, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Quit your pathetic whining and drive 91

  • PaloVerde December 15, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I travel the Gorge 4 times per month and the danger is not the construction but the drivers. Without going into detail you must be able to understand what I am saying!

    • jimbo December 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      yep I get passed by semi truck doing well over the posted limit!

  • jimbo December 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    old hwy 91 starts in Mesquite, Nv and not littlefield, I live here I should know!

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