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 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.
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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