ST. GEORGE – A southbound entrance onto Interstate 15 will be closed and traffic over the Virgin River will be diverted on the center lanes of a new bridge starting July 11 as part of ongoing work to add auxiliary lanes between the Brigham Road/Exit 4 and Dixie Drive/Exit 5 interchanges.
The traffic will be diverted in to the middle lane of the new bridge structure so workers can dismantle and rebuild parts of the old bridge and outside lanes, according to a Friday press release from the Utah Department of Transportation.
In order to help drivers safely navigate this new traffic pattern, UDOT, working with St. George City and the contractor, will close the I-15 southbound entrance ramp at Bluff Street.
Once the southbound entrance onto I-15 from the Bluff Street interchange is closed motorists will be detoured to 270 East which will take them to the Dixie Drive interchange where they can access southbound I-15.
Construction workers will restripe the Dixie Drive entrance ramp with temporary paint. All entrance ramps for northbound traffic will remain open.
Consult the map in this post for clarification on the detour route.
Drivers should anticipate lane restrictions on I-15 the evenings of July 9-11 while construction crews set up the new traffic pattern.
Currently, three southbound movements of traffic converge over the Virgin River:
- Mainline I-15 traffic.
- Vehicles using the Bluff Street entrance ramp.
- Motorists using the Dixie Drive entrance ramp.
Closing the southbound entrance at Bluff Street will eliminate one of these merges to provide a safer transition for all southbound traffic.
Hours of operation
- Daytime hours 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- All I-15 lanes will remain open during the daytime – two lanes in each direction
- Nighttime hours 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Two lanes open on I-15 in each direction with occasional single lane closures as needed
Other construction activities currently underway
- Preparing roadway for traffic shift on July 11
- Preparing detour route
- Installation of storm drain
- Preparations of center lanes on new bridge structures include pavement leveling, barrier finishes, and striping
Trail opened for 4th of July holiday weekend
A closed segment of the Virgin River Trail that passes through the construction zone will reopen Friday at noon for the holiday weekend. It will remain open until 6 a.m. Wednesday and then be closed until roadwork over the Virgin River is completed.
Click on the map featured in this article to view alternative trail routes.
The trail is anticipated to reopen in September.
Purpose of the road work
The plan is to add an auxiliary lane in both directions that will allow drivers to enter the freeway and exit at the next interchange without merging with through-traffic or changing lanes – basically just driving straight on through. The new lanes are anticipated to improve traffic flow and enhance safety.
Adding the new lanes will involve demolishing and replacing the narrow bridges over the Virgin River – a process expected to be done by December, if not earlier.
In addition to providing a third lane of travel, the new bridges will also be able to accommodate the creation of a fourth lane in the future.
Ed. Note: This post was updated July 1, 2017, with additional information of the Utah Department of Transportation.
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