PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Arizona Department of Transportation worked through the night Monday pouring a concrete deck on the newly reconstructed northbound Bridge No. 6 at Arizona milepost 16 on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge. Speed limits have been reduced to 25 mph until around 8 p.m. Wednesday to allow the concrete to cure without vibration from higher-speed traffic.
As the Bridge No. 6 rehabilitation project continues, the highway is currently narrowed to one lane in each direction through the work zone as traffic is diverted to the southbound bridge while the northbound bridge is being completed. The southbound bridge will be replaced when the new, wider northbound bridge is completed this summer.
The completion of the concrete deck pour is a significant milestone on the $27 million reconstruction project that began in 2014 and includes the replacement of the bridge’s superstructure (girders, deck and railings), as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the gorge.
Arizona’s 29-mile-long segment of I-15 is one of the most heavily traveled commercial and economic corridors linking southern California with the Rocky Mountain region. According to ADOT, this was the most expensive segment of rural highway per mile ever built in the U.S. when it was first completed in 1973. It took over 10 years to build. Currently, ADOT reports that more than 1.4 million commercial trucks travel annually on this portion of the Interstate.
Ultimately, all eight (in seven locations) of the I-15 Virgin River bridges will need rehabilitation.
According to previous notices issued by ADOT, rehabilitation of Bridge No. 1, about 5 miles east of Littlefield, is slated for 2019 with original estimates for the project at $33 million.
With limited alternate routes because of the remote location of the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, ADOT urges drivers to plan ahead, allow extra travel time, slow down and drive carefully through the work zone and be alert for additional construction equipment, crews and law enforcement personnel.
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, to the south, and connecting to St. George at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.
- I-15 Virgin River Bridge project website
- ADOT Traveler Information Center website
- Contact: 1-888-411-ROAD (7623) or while in Arizona dial 511
- View a project flyer with a map of the area: Virgin River Gorge I-15 Bridge Rehabilitation Projects 2014-2015
- Expect delays; bridge girder installation begins on I-15, Virgin River Gorge; ADOT Video
- ADOT begins largest bridge reconstruction project in Virgin River Gorge, Bridge No. 6 on I-15
- I-15 construction in the Gorge slows travel between St. George, Las Vegas
- ADOT: Virgin River Gorge bridge improvement schedule
- Interstate from Mexico to Canada? ADOT, NDOT invite public comments on I-11 Study