Road construction continues near Virgin River Gorge; lengthy delays expected

Construction work caused an 11-mile traffic backup to develop along northbound Interstate 15, Mohave County, Arizona, June 1, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Public Safety, St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE, Ariz. — Paving crews will be working on the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 near the southern portion of the Virgin River Gorge Thursday. Construction is expected to create extensive congestion on the interstate.

Travelers in the area Wednesday experienced a traffic backup that reached in excess of 11 miles, Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Bottoms said, adding that he fully expects traffic to be as bad or worse than yesterday.

For those travelling south on I-15, delays of of 1-2 hours can be expected. It is advisable for anyone travelling in this direction to come prepared with a full tank of gas, water, food and “a huge dose of patience,” Bottoms said.

The paving crews will be working near the mouth of the gorge towards Beaver Dam, but the backups will most likely be in the gorge itself, he said. Beyond Beaver Dam, the traffic should be clear, so taking old Highway 91 from Santa Clara is highly recommended.

Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from
Highway 91 between St. George, Utah, and Littlefield, Arizona | Image from Click to enlarge.

Alternate route and tips for drivers

Those seeking to avoid the backup 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 at the north via Santa Clara and Sunset Boulevard. See map included in this article.

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  • Billy Madison June 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Holy Cow, I went to Mesquite for a buffet lunch and got caught in one of these traffic jams on the way home. I had a birthday while waiting, and almost drank the beers I was bringing back. The buffet was good, but not worth sitting in the traffic jam. But, I was wearing my seat belt the whole time.

  • .... June 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

    It looks like the line at a Food Stamp Fraud orientation class at the local FLDS community center !!!!

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