ST. GEORGE — While Gov. Gary Herbert and local elected officials have asked people from Northern Utah – and in a roundabout way those from the southern end of the state – not to travel so the spread of the coronavirus might be mitigated, the Utah Department of Transportation offers another reason: Interstate 15 roadwork.
UDOT announced Friday that is will be rebuilding and improving the pavement surface along a 7-mile stretch of I-15 south of Nephi – miles 193-200 – between the bridge over the Sevier River and the Juab/Millard County line.
Roadwork is set to start Monday on the southbound lanes and go through June, with crews working Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
However, lane restrictions will be in effect 24 hours a day Monday through Thursday, and Friday until noon. Weekend work may be necessary.
Work on the northbound lanes is scheduled to begin in June and continue through July. Motorists should expect heavy delays.
Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change.
UDOT is using a “crack and seat” method, which uses a hydraulic hammer to pound the concrete surface and create hairline fractures in the roadway. Crews use a 50-ton roller to compress the cracked pavement and compact it so a new asphalt surface can be placed.
Stay home and don’t travel
While there may be some motorists out there who don’t mind being held up by roadwork, a general advisory from state and local elected and health officials remains: Stay home and don’t travel.
Gov. Herbert put it rather bluntly during a press conference Friday:
If your primary residence is on the Wasatch Front and you are traveling to Washington County to gather with extended family members for a recreational weekend, turn around and go home.
To this end, Zion National Park has been closed to the public starting Saturday while an order leaving state parks open to local county residents only was also reiterated.
County and local officials have also stressed the need to follow the governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive in order to promote social distancing efforts so the spread of COVID-19 may eventually be halted.
“With this particular sickness, people can travel and not feel (sick) or know that they have symptoms and then engage and interact with members of the community and share those viruses with us,” Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson said last week. “We want to be welcoming, but for now, we’d like everyone to fellow the governor’s directive and limit their travel.”
St. George Mayor Jon Pike has also asked people not to visit St. George right now and took to Facebook with his plea Friday.
“This is not the time to come visit St. George.” the mayor said. “For now, stay safe and stay close to home.”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.