Drivers encouraged to take ‘the long way’ as work to widen segment of River Road begins

ST. GEORGE — Roadwork has begun this week on widening River Road in St. George between Riverside Drive and 1450 South.

A rendering of work to be done on River Road in St. George between Riverside Drive and 1450 South between Jan. 4 and June 30, 2021 | Image courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

The overall goal of the project is to create dual left turn lanes on northbound River Road and Riverside Drive, and on southbound River Road and 1450 South. This will include the widening of the bridge over the Virgin River for the addition of a new southbound lane.

Updates will be made to utilities in the area and the Virgin River Trail system running through the project zone will also be improved, according the project website.

An additional change will be in the removal and replacement of the line of poles — by the access point into the Maverik gas station and Jiffy Lube on River Road — with a median.

Work on the project is anticipated to run through June.

Work commences on the widening of River Road in St. George between Riverside Drive and 1450 South, St. George, Utah, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Cameron Cutler, the public works director for the city of St. George, said Thursday that two northbound and southbound lanes on River Road will remain open during the roadwork. However, one lane along the west side of the bridge has been closed to traffic to allow construction crews a space to work.

Squeezing the lanes closer together for now is likely to cause some congestion, Cutler said, which is why he encourages motorists to bypass this part of River Road if possible.

“We encourage people to go around the long way,” he said, adding a plea for drivers to be patient with the city as the roadwork gets underway.

The road widening from five to seven lanes is estimated to run the city $3.7 million and is being overseen by the Utah Department of Transportation, Cutler said. This is because River Road is considered a major regional roadway and involves federal funding, which must be administrated through the state road agency, he said.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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