Work on I-15, underpass nearing completion

ST. GEORGE – Motorists can look forward to some congestion relief in the new year with the pending completion of the underpass connecting Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive under Interstate 15.

Officials are hoping to have the freeway underpass connecting Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive finished by Christmas or shortly thereafter. The underpass is anticipated to help cut down on traffic congestion experienced at the nearby Exit 8 and 10 interchanges by 10-to-15 percent in the long term, St. George, Utah, Dec. 5, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Officials are hoping to have the underpass connecting Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive finished by Christmas or shortly thereafter. The underpass is anticipated to help cut down on traffic congestion experienced at the nearby Exit 8 and 10 interchanges by 10-to-15 percent in the long term, St. George, Utah, Dec. 5, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The project, which includes the widening of I-15 between Exits 8 and 10 (the St. George Boulevard and Green Springs Drive interchanges) to three lanes, is anticipated to be primarily completed and potentially opened around Christmas, according to the project’s website.

There is a chance the opening of the underpass could be slightly delayed however, Kevin Kitchen, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation, said Monday.

Issues involving current drops in temperature may put a short stall on completion as a steady temperature of 45-50 degrees is needed for aspects of the project like paving and work on the soil nails wall.

If there is a delay, Kitchen said, it shouldn’t be a big one as opening the underpass could be moved to the week after Christmas or the first week of 2017.

“We’re seeing how the weather treats us,” Kitchen said. “The goal is to have it done by Christmas.”

The project is also a joint venture between UDOT and the city of St. George. The overall project is anticipated to cost around $24 million, according to the project website.

Work on the underpass and highway-widening began June 1 and is intended to help cut back on traffic congestion experienced at the Exit 8 and Exit 10 interchanges.

Officials are hoping to have the freeway underpass connecting Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive finished by Christmas or shortly thereafter. The underpass is anticipated to help cut down on traffic congestion experienced at the nearby Exit 8 and 10 interchanges by 10-to-15 percent in the long term, St. George, Utah, Dec. 5, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Officials are hoping to have the underpass connecting Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive finished by Christmas or shortly thereafter. The underpass is anticipated to help cut down on traffic congestion experienced at the nearby Exit 8 and 10 interchanges by 10-to-15 percent in the long term, St. George, Utah, Dec. 5, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“UDOT (is) very concerned about the congestion and wants to make sure that I-15 continues to flow,” St. George Public Works Director Cameron Cutler said.

Once completed, the underpass will allow motorists to bypass both the Exit 8 and Exit 10 interchanges, he said.

“That’s a big deal to UDOT and to the cities,” Cutler said.

Congestion issues at the St. George Boulevard/Exit 8 interchange have been eased with some thanks to recent improvements put in by UDOT, Cutler said, though he added the Green Springs/Exit 10 interchange is the spot where the congestion is felt the most.

The Green Springs/Exit 10 interchange is likely the most-hated interchange in the area, particularly during the holiday season.

According to the project’s website, once the underpass is open, it is anticipated to reduce long-term congestion at both interchanges by 10-to-15 percent.

Between Monday and Friday, project managers expect to install a traffic signals on Red Hills Parkway and Red Cliffs Drive and install utilities, among other tasks related to I-15 and the project proper.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

 

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4 Comments

  • Ronnie Keith December 5, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    IT IS A FREEWAY UNDERPASS!
    MAYBE YOU SHOULD DO SOME RESEARCH FIRST BEFORE YOU WRITE A STORY!

    • Ronnie Keith December 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I do not see how this will help with congestion as it is simply an underpass, not new off/on ramps which are seriously needed. Just as many cars are still going to be using exit 8 & 10. So how will an underpass, between the two help, when you need too use one or the other exchange’s too access this underpass from I15?

    • Ronnie Keith December 5, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      I see you changed the term highway in the first two paragraphs but left it in near the end. Here is a link too help you understand the difference.
      http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.diffen.com/difference/Freeway_vs_Highway&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjxmP7_7N7QAhXMx1QKHYLdDAcQFgggMAM&sig2=U4L3CSyeD4M3_s8EamDq6A&usg=AFQjCNEUFNvskv2PYJU7jxeCbQmD6Foy6A

      • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic December 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

        Now you’ve done it, Mr. Keith. 🙂 . We trade in words so I’m going to need to define these terms in public reply. You feel strongly and so do I – in fact my word choice would not have been highway either, but it is not wrong.
        Let’s look at the terms highway, freeway and interstate as defined by the Federal Highway Administration, my go-to authority on this topic. Here are the FHA definitions:
        Freeway – A divided arterial highway designed for the unimpeded flow of large traffic volumes. Access to a freeway is rigorously controlled and intersection grade separations are required.
        Highway – Is any road, street, parkway, or freeway/expressway that includes rights-of-way, bridges, railroad-highway crossings, tunnels, drainage structures, signs, guardrail, and protective structures in connection with highways. The highway further includes that portion of any interstate or international bridge or tunnel and the approaches thereto (23 U.S.C. 101a). (FHWA2)
        Interstate – Limited access divided facility of at least four lanes designated by the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Interstate System. (NHTSA3)
        Arguably, any one of these terms could apply to Interstate 15 or sections of Interstate 15. That said, my preference in Southern Utah is to use: the interstate, Interstate 15 or I-15; these are the most clear and specific. We don’t hear the word freeway used in everyday jargon in this region as we might in other regions, like the L.A. basin that bustles with … freeways.
        I do enjoy these kinds of comments, they make us better. Don’t hesitate to bring them again.
        ST. GEORGE NEWS
        Joyce Kuzmanic
        Editor in Chief

        P.S. I almost forgot, Merry Christmas!

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