IVINS – Motorists are advised to use caution when traveling on Old Highway 91, due to construction expected to last through Saturday.
Ivins City is upgrading a culvert in a normally dry wash which crosses under the highway, and has flooded and closed the road in the past. The project is located on Old Highway 91 between 600 West in Ivins and Kayenta Parkway, east of 3 Mile Lane.
The city is upgrading a culvert which passes under the highway, replacing a single 48-inch corrugated metal culvert with two concrete box culverts measuring 4 feet by 12 feet.
The single pipe was undersized, and was “continually plugging and overflowing, and was a major maintenance problem,” Ivins City Engineer Chuck Gillette said. “Not to mention the fact that the road had to keep being shut down, even in smaller storm events.”
During construction, the lanes of travel are being diverted onto a gravel temporary road to the side of the highway, with travel speed reduced to 25 mph.
The two cement culverts are expected to be installed Thursday, with paving scheduled for Saturday.
“(The road) will likely be back open on Sunday,” Gillette said. Crews will finish up next week, with minimal impact to traffic expected at that time.
The larger culverts are expected to resist plugging, increase the capacity of the structure, and reduce the chance of road closures due to flooding during major rain storms.
Old Highway 91 is an important corridor, Gillette said, because it is an alternative to I-15, particularly when there are problems in the Virgin River Gorge.
The project is expected to cost about $100,000, $50,000 for the culverts, and $50,000 for the installation.
The installation costs are being partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which provides money for restoration and prevention of flood damage through it’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Several area projects have been funded by the NRCS.
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