I-15 Virgin River bridge rehab progresses, single-lane travel shifts

Traffic on northbound I-15, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, June 13, 2015 | Photo by Leanna Bergeron, St. George News
VIRGIN RIVER GORGE –Motorists traveling Interstate 15 through the Arizona Strip’s Virgin River Gorge between St. George, Utah, and Mesquite, Nevada, will experience a traffic switch and probable delays starting Sunday as the Arizona Department of Transportation shifts reconstruction work from the northbound to southbound Bridge No. 6. One travel lane will remain open in both directions.
Beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday, northbound traffic, which has been traveling the southbound bridge since December 2014, will be shifted to the newly reconstructed and widened northbound Virgin River Bridge No. 6. This will allow ADOT to begin reconstruction of the southbound bridge.
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image created on Mapquest.com, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge
Highway 91 from St. George and Littlefield, Ariz. | Image created on Mapquest.com, St. George News | Click on map to enlarge

Following the Labor Day holiday weekend Sept. 5-7, southbound traffic will also be diverted onto the northbound bridge until construction is completed on the southbound bridge.

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.
Alternate route

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, Utah, at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map inset.

ADOT Bridge rehabilitation project

Bridges in the Virgin River Gorge were originally constructed in the 1970s and are in need of upgrades and repairs. When this section of highway was built, it was the most expensive rural interstate highway built, per mile, and was completed in 1973 after a decade of construction.

ADOT has completed work on three of the bridges thus far, specifically surfaces for Virgin River Bridge No. 2 at milepost 13, Bridge No. 3 at milepost 15 and Bridge No. 7 at milepost 22.

Work began on Bridge No. 6 in the spring of 2014 and is currently anticipated to be completed in 2016. Bridge No. 6 involves a $27 million rehabilitation project replacing the bridge’s superstructure (girders, deck and railings), as well as widening the roadway through the narrow passage of the gorge.

Map shows Bridges on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona slated for rehabilitation during 2014-16 | Map courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News
Map shows Interstate 15 bridges through the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona slated for rehabilitation 2014-2016 | Map courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

 

This June 2, 2015, photo shows ADOT workers doing the concrete deck pour on the Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, June 2, 2015 | Photo courtesy of ADOT, St. George News
This June 2, 2015, photo shows ADOT workers doing the concrete deck pour on the northbound Interstate 15 Virgin River Bridge No. 6, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, June 2, 2015 | Photo courtesy of ADOT, St. George News
ADOT crews pour concrete for the reconstructed NB Bridge No. 6 on I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, June 1-2, 2015 | Photo courtesy of ADOT, St. George News
This June 1-2, 2015, photo shows ADOT crews pouring concrete for the reconstructed northbound Bridge No. 6 on I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge, Mohave County, Arizona, June 1-2, 2015 | Photo courtesy of ADOT, St. George News

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1 Comment

  • Uncommon_Sense August 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

    The photos are staged, you never see them doing any work. Leaning on the railings or standing around jabber jawing in groups would have been a more accurate picture. I-15 in NV falls off the planet and Nevada has it rebuilt in a month. Should have let NV redo the bridge, not AZ.

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