Traffic alert: Construction begins on Old Highway 91, Santa Clara to Ivins

Reconstruction of old Highway 91 from Santa Clara to Ivins begins Feb. 8, Santa Clara, Utah, Feb.4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

IVINS – Motorists traveling between Santa Clara and Ivins can expect minor delays as construction begins Monday on a project to widen and improve state Route 91.

Traffic control for the project will begin Monday, and traffic will be reduced to one lane at times, with flaggers on each end to let traffic through safely.

Construction will begin on the west end of Santa Clara near Swiss Village where crews will tear out approximately 300 feet of existing curb, gutter and sidewalk to realign the road, Santa Clara Public Works Director Jack Taylor said.

“They’re basically moving it over a little bit closer to Swiss Village, so we can get a trail around the knob of that hill, without cutting into the hill,” Taylor said. “You’ll be able to walk around that hill from Jacob Hamblin (Home) on the sidewalk and go around and get on a trail which will eventually break away from the curb and go all the way up to Rachel (Drive).”

At Rachel Drive, the trail will tie into an existing trail which turns north and connects to Pioneer Parkway.

The 1.5-mile project will reconstruct Old Highway 91 from the west end of Santa Clara to 200 East in Ivins. The road will be widened and curb and gutter will be installed.

The road’s shoulders will also be widened. In an earlier interview, Ivins Public Works Director/City Engineer Chuck Gillette said that at least one bicyclist has been struck and killed by a vehicle in the area.

The project is funded by Utah Department of Transportation and grants to Ivins and Santa Clara from the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization. Preliminary utility work by Santa Clara City began in December 2015 in preparation for the road reconstruction.

If traffic from Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona needs to be rerouted via Old Highway 91, as sometimes happens due to accidents or ongoing bridge reconstruction, Gillette said closures in the construction zone would likely be suspended.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2016.

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