MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — Southbound motorists planning to travel on Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge are advised to avoid the Gorge until at least 9 p.m. MDT Wednesday.
Southbound traffic was backed up more than 5 miles as of Wednesday evening, Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms said. Drivers traveling south on I-15 are advised to use the Highway 91 alternate route instead of driving through the Gorge (see map inset below).
Work on a major Interstate 15 reconstruction project on Virgin River Bridge No. 6 at milepost 16 is more than halfway complete as of October. After finishing the northbound section of the bridge this past summer, crews are now working to construct the new southbound bridge.
The roadway will continue to be narrowed to one lane in each direction at this work zone, and motorists should be prepared for additional travel delays of up to 20 minutes while crews remove loose rocks near the southbound side of the bridge structure from Oct. 12 through mid-November.
Intermittent traffic breaks will be necessary during work hours, which are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information on how ADOT uses traffic breaks, please visit the ADOT YouTube page.
This $27 million improvement 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 project is scheduled for completion in 2016.
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 and drive carefully through the work zone, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.
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.
To stay up to date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center ataz511.gov, follow us on Twitter or call 511; outside of Arizona, dial 888-411-ROAD (7623).
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