Newest segment of state Route 7 opens for motorists

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Utah Department of Transportation has opened the newest segment of state Route 7, also known as the Southern Parkway, to motorists and cyclists.

The Southern Parkway under construction in Washington County, date not specified | Photo courtesy UDOT, St. George News
The Southern Parkway under construction in Washington County, date not specified | Photo courtesy UDOT, St. George News

The latest segment extends a connection from Sand Hollow Reservoir on the north to the St. George Airport and beyond to Exit 2 on Interstate 15 to the south and west. Prior to this connection, motorists had to exit the parkway and use local streets through Washington City to make the loop from Hurricane City.

Construction of the new roadway, valued at $21 million, includes a single lane in each direction with shoulder space for alternative transportation and connects previously constructed interchanges at Warner Valley and Washington Dam Road. The project design and recent construction also provide the foundation and corridor for future lanes and local connections as demand grows in eastern and southern Washington County.

The project was built using state funding with the addition of $220,000 of local funds for improvements.

The Southern Parkway under construction in Washington County, date not specified | Photo courtesy UDOT, St. George News
The Southern Parkway under construction in Washington County, date not specified | Photo courtesy UDOT, St. George News

Construction of the Southern Parkway began in fall 2007 with an interchange at milepost 2 on I-15, a local interchange adjacent to I-15 and groundwork for a divided expressway extending east toward St. George’s River Road.

Pavement on the first 7 ½  miles of SR-7 reached the then new St. George Airport by September 2010. By January 2014, a segment immediately north of the airport to Washington City and one near Sand Hollow added an additional 7 miles of pavement and brought the number of interchanges up to seven. The new segment now brings the total number of continuous roadway miles through eastern and southern Washington County up to 19.

Future expansion of lanes and an extension of the Southern Parkway up to state Route 9 are not currently funded for construction.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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  • Billy Madison January 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    This is a truly visionary insite with a plan for the future. Whoever figgerd this out is way smarder than I will ever be.

  • SteveSGU January 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Washington City, Utah does not exist, despite what the politicians in Washington have tried in recent years. And now your making up a town called Hurricane City?? Do you know the difference between a city called St. George, the City of St. George, and St. George City? One of these things is not like the others, because it doesn’t exist.

    BTW, it’s not the Black Ridge; it’s the Black Hill. On the other side of town is Foremaster Ridge.

    And it’s not Dixie Rock; it’s the Sugarloaf.

    If you have moved here in recent decades, please learn what places are called and how to properly describe locations on numbered streets before writing news articles. At least hire a local editor to make sure location descriptions are correct before publishing.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic January 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      S-SGU – I have addressed your argument about Washington City many times; the city uses Washington City as does St. George News by choice to differentiate between the state and nation’s capital by the same name. Yes, the proper name is Hurricane City – but reference to the city of Hurricane is not incorrect as written with the word city in lowercase.
      You are spot on, however, on Black Hill being in St. George as compared to the Black Ridge which is north of St. George on I-15 below Cedar City; thing is, I find no mention of either in this story so find no correction or clarification required.
      The names Dixie Rock and the Sugarloaf are both used for that landmark, and interchangeably so. We have included full discussion in many stories over the years but it simply is beyond the scope of this reply or the report you are commenting upon.
      I trust that clarifies for those interested.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • .... January 14, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Hey CrybabySteveSGU is some constructive criticism for you. shut up ! and get a life

  • Pheo January 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Alaska has its Bridge to Nowhere. We have our freeway to nowhere.

    The airport terminal should have been built on the west side of the runway, allowing direct access to the airport from St. George. The only reason they put it on the other side was to force the construction of this useless freeway. Lest you think that the new road provides a shorter drive to anywhere useful, consider that if you are driving to any of the exits on Highway 7, it is almost always shorter to just drive to that point through St George. For example, if you were driving to Stucki Farms (immediately off the Warner Valley exit) from Mesquite, taking Highway 7 adds 3 extra miles and 2 extra minutes to your trip compared to getting off at Dixie Drive on I-15.

    Why would someone want a useless freeway? Look at all the land waiting to be developed out there. Someone with a bunch of cheap land knew someone in high places.

  • .... January 14, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Well it’s a good place for another Temple !

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