Traffic advisory: Detour advised for holiday weekend travelers

southbound traffic backed up in gorge
Traffic backed up on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, March 12, 2015 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE — Due to traffic congestion on northbound Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge Friday afternoon, motorists are encouraged to travel on old Highway 91 rather than I-15. The congested area goes from approximately the Littlefield, Arizona, exit through the Gorge construction area.

“It’s backed up 8 miles,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said. “Motorists are overheating out here today.”

Motorists are advised to always stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them when driving. Following too closely creates an unnecessary safety risk, which oftentimes results in drivers skidding off into the median when the car in front of them stops or slows, Bottoms said in a previous interview.

Bridge work continues

As the Arizona Department of Transportation continues to make progress on the reconstruction of the Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6 in Arizona, the agency is urging drivers to slow down and allow extra travel time as delays are expected while construction continues through the summer.

Current roadwork is focused on the $27 million rehabilitation project for Bridge No. 6. located at milepost 16 on I-15, around 20 miles south of St. George.

Alternate route and tips for drivers

Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image created on, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Arizona | Image created on, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

Drivers are advised to use old 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.

With limited alternate routes due to the remote location of the I-15 Virgin River Gorge corridor, ADOT urges drivers to plan ahead, allow extra travel time, slow down, drive carefully through the work zone and be alert for additional construction equipment, crews and law enforcement personnel. 

For more information about the projects to upgrade the I-15 Virgin River bridges, please visit


  • To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 511; outside of Arizona, dial 888-411-ROAD (7623)
  • For more information about this project, visit the website

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