ST. GEORGE – With a start of a new year in St. George comes start of a new road project.
Signs have appeared on Bluff Street advising motorists that the long-awaited work on the northern part of Bluff Street is starting Monday.
The Bluff Street project is slated to last a year and will widen the roadway between 100 South and Sunset Boulevard to three lanes in both directions, and revamp the Bluff Street-Sunset Boulevard intersection, among other improvements and upgrades.
State and city road planners say the roadwork will help Bluff Street better handle increasing traffic flows as the area continues to grow over the next 20-40 years.
In preparation for the road widening on the northern part of Bluff Street, a number of buildings were leveled, forcing the businesses they once housed to relocate.
What’s coming up
What can motorists expect over the next few weeks as work begins? The Utah Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project, released a work schedule Wednesday:
- Jan. 8: Contractor will begin installing traffic control along the corridor.
- Jan. 8-10: Daily traffic shifts; changing traffic patterns; moving traffic light heads for better visibility; lowering manholes and water valves on the southbound lanes in preparation for asphalt milling.
- Jan. 10: Traffic is switched to the east side of the road with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane in preparation for asphalt milling.
- Jan. 15-20: Crews will begin to remove the current asphalt surface on the southbound lanes with rotomiling from 100 South to 1250 North. After the asphalt has been removed, access to properties and roads on the west side of Bluff Street in this area will be a compacted and milled asphalt until all utility improvements have been completed.
Crews will be working each day, Monday through Friday, from about 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be some Saturday work. Additional shifts will be added as conditions permit.
Kevin Kitchen, of UDOT, told St. George News Thursday that motorists would benefit from finding an alternate route around the construction, particularly during peak travel times.
Individuals who generally use the Sunset Boulevard to Bluff Street to St. George Boulevard corridor as their primary east-west route through town may want to consider Dixie Drive or Valley View Drive connecting to Sunset Boulevard, or Red Hills Parkway connecting to Snow Canyon Parkway as alternate travel routes.
Upcoming widening, work and improvements
- Upgrading and improving all utilities that are buried in the current roadway, including storm drain, culinary water, sewer, fiber optics, gas, electrical and an upgraded advanced traffic management system.
- Increasing capacity by adding an additional northbound and southbound lane from 100 South to 1250 North through this heavily traveled section of road.
- Reconfiguring the intersection at Sunset Boulevard and Bluff Street to improve safety, traffic flow and handle projected traffic increases.
- Adding a dedicated right turn lane from westbound St George Boulevard to northbound Bluff Street to improve safety and mobility.
State and city road planners have said for years that improvements to northern Bluff Street are needed in order better handle current and future congestion concerns that accompany the area’s continuing growth.
Bluff Street carries over 44,000 vehicles every day, with that number expected to climb to 65,000 by 2040 as the population climbs from over 150,000 to around 321,000.
“It will be a great facility and will benefit the city for years to come,” Kitchen said.
UDOT is overseeing the project due to Bluff Street actually being the southern end of state Route 18.
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