County to help with new bike trail section on old Highway 91

The Washington County Commission building in St. George | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A new section of bicycle path to be constructed alongside old Highway 91 will increase the safety of a popular bike route on the west side of Washington County.

New logo approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commission | Image courtesy of Washington County, St. George News
New logo approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commission | Image courtesy of Washington County, St. George News

At a regular meeting Tuesday, the Washington County Commission agreed to contribute funds and materials to a bike path that will be built next to old Highway 91 through the Shivwits Reservation.

“It’s just one segment of what is hoped to be a master-planned trail that people can get on a bike and go all the way up to Gunlock without getting in the road,” Commissioner Zachary Renstrom said.

The route is designated in the county master plan as a bike route and is becoming more popular. Ivins City officials have plans to add a bike lane to the highway through Ivins as well, Renstrom said.

“The more we can avoid car and bike interaction, the better,” he said. “We’ll keep working our way up the road.”

The county will be assisting the Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe by contributing base material, asphalt, culverts and pavement markings at a cost of $41,028. The Shivwits Band is spending $500,000 received from a grant on the project.

The project will include a new section of bike trail along with a highway crossing near the Shivwits Convenience Store located at 5861 W. Highway 91, improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the area.

The new section of bike path is located about 5 miles west of St. George and will be approximately 1.06 miles long, beginning at mile marker 6 near the Ivins Reservoir and extending west to Shivwits Village.

Construction is ongoing on a 1.5 mile stretch of Highway 91 between Santa Clara City and Ivins, a project which involves widening the road and adding bike lanes.

Read more: Expect delays during Old Highway 91 safety improvements project

In other business the county approved a new logo, renewed an agreement with Zions Bank for municipal financial advisory services, and approved a time-and-a-half pay policy for county road and public works employees for emergency work required during events such as flooding and snowstorms.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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3 Comments

  • Paul March 15, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    No avid cyclist wants this, and there are thousands of us who regularly ride this route. It’s the first step in removing bicycles from the roads and relegating them to sidewalks. The proper solution would be to expand the non-existent shoulder on Highway 91 to 6′ in both directions, making it safe for motor vehicles as well as bicycles. A “sidewalk” is not necessary. And pave the roads with asphalt; not 3rd world chip seal. Chip seal destroys car finishes and windshields, and it forces cyclists to ride in the lane to avoid loose gravel.

  • Rustin March 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    The problem is they will spend the money and the bikes will still ride on the road like they do on hwy 18

    • Paul March 16, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Respectfully, you are correct, bikes will still ride on the road. So forget the expensive path, and add a shoulder to each side of 91. Better for cars and bikes, and it’s way overdue. When there is a walking path (sidewalk) and riders use the road, a few motorists become enraged and buzz riders, breaking the 3′ law. In some states, the ultimate goal is to ban bicycles from roads, and this is the first step. And by the way, there is an ample shoulder now on 18, thanks to the efforts of a handful of us working with UDOT through SUBA. It’s better for everyone now. The ridiculous rollercoaster bike path was built years ago, and it’s a joke.

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