Crews begin drainage repair work along I-15 in Virgin River Gorge

PHOENIX, Arizona — Crews are set to begin work Saturday repairing the drainage system along the Interstate 15 Virgin River Gorge in the southbound lanes, milepost 17.5 to 17.6. The work will continue through March. Construction will include removing debris and repairing the drainage system, which was damaged during September 2014’s  Hurricane Norbert storm event.

This work will require crews to close the right lane, extending the existing work zone for a bridge rehabilitation project at Virgin River Bridge No. 6, milepost 16. Motorists traveling on I-15 between Mesquite, Nevada, and St. George are reminded to plan ahead for construction delays and allow up to 20 minutes of extra travel time during construction activities, which are weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional delay time may occur on weekends due to heavier traffic volume and special events. While one travel lane will remain open in each direction, motorists are reminded to slow down and drive carefully through work zones and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

The $27 million rehabilitation of Virgin River Bridge No. 6 began in March 2014 and is anticipated to be completed in 2016. This significant project includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure, including girders, deck and railings, as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the Gorge.

The busiest travel times through the Gorge are Fridays through Sundays. With limited alternate routes due to the remote location of the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, the Arizona Department of Transportation urges drivers to plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image from Mapquest.com | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image from Mapquest.com | Click on map to enlarge

Alternate route and tips for drivers

Individuals 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.

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