A new pedestrian tunnel, 3000 East overhaul and more traffic lights in store for St. George

ST. GEORGE — New traffic signals, work on 3000 East and a new pedestrian underpass on the south end of Bluff Street were among the current and incoming road-related projects highlighted by the city of St. George during the annual Dixie Regional Transportation Expo held earlier this month.

In this 2019 file photo, people gather at the booth maintained by the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization at the Dixie Regional Transportation Expo, St. George, Feb. 12, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler. St. George News

Typically held at the Dixie Convention Center in early February, this year’s transportation expo was held entirely online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Attendees were able to view video presentations and speak with various road planners one-on-one through online chats and video feeds.

During the expo, Cameron Cutler, St. George’s public works director, spoke to St. George News about the various projects St. George had on hand and would be pursuing in the near future.

3000 East and 1450 South

One of the city’s major priorities is work on the 3000 East corridor, Cutler said.

“We’ve had it budgeted, and we’ve been working on design in the past year,” Cutler said. However, what has been slated as a two- or three-year project is now being pushed for faster completion by the St. George City Council, he said.

“It’s a long corridor and a whole lot of money,” Cutler said. “I may be trying to funnel some more funds over there to try and get it done sooner.”

In this 2019 file photo, traffic passes on 3000 East near 1580 South where the future LDS Red Cliffs Utah Temple will be built, St. George, Utah, Nov. 8, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The 3000 East corridor runs south from Mall Drive to just past Maple Mountain Drive. The corridor is anticipated to become one of the major roadways in the area due to the incoming Red Cliffs Utah Temple at the intersection with 1580 South, which will also connect to the Southern Parkway to the west.

Residential development in the area is also on the rise as the population continues to grow.

The city will be focusing roadwork in the near future between Mall Drive down to approximately Seegmiller Drive, Cutler said. Whether it will all be done in one big project or in phases remains to be seen.

Work has commenced on realigning 1450 South in St. George to 3650 South in Washington City. Design work is also being done on 3000 East and an accompanying storm drain system that will run from Mall Drive to Seegmiller Drive. Work on 3000 East will include widening between 1580 South and 2450 South and 1140 South to Mall Drive.

An extension of 1450 South’s eastern end is also anticipated to run from the intersection with River Road toward the Dixie Convention Center. The city is currently in the process of acquiring right of way to the future project, Cutler said.

New traffic signals

New traffic light being installed at the intersection of 700 South and 200 East, St. George, Utah, Feb. 19, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Drivers who travel on 700 South will likely have noticed the new traffic signals being set up at the 200 East intersection.

Other sites of incoming traffic signals include the intersection of Dixie Drive and Sunbrook Drive and the intersection of Snow Canyon Parkway and 2000 North.

Snow Canyon Parkway and 2000 North had originally been planned for a roundabout, but Cutler said those plans have changed.

“We looked at the cost of that and the right of way and everything else to put that roundabout in there, and we changed gears to make that a traffic signal,” he said.

New signals that have been installed across St. George over the last year include: Mall Drive and 2780 East, Sunset Boulevard and Tuweap Drive, Snow Canyon Parkway and 1400 West, and Riverside Drive and Morningside Drive.

River Road widening

The widening of River Road between Riverside Drive and 1450 South began in January and is expected to run through June.

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.

New pedestrian underpass

Map showing the location of a future pedestrian tunnel under I-15 on the southern end of Bluff Street in St. George | Map courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News

Similar to the underpass by Dixie State University at 400 South that connects St. George under Interstate 15, another pedestrian underpass is being planned for the southern end of Bluff Street in the area between the I-15 southbound ramps and the Main Street/Blackridge Drive intersection.

The project is being done as a partnership between the Utah Department of Transportation and the city of St. George.

“It will connect the east and west portions of the Hilton Drive Trail through this area and allow users to safely cross Bluff Street through the tunnel and avoid the need to cross at the busy Main Street traffic signal,” UDOT officials said in a statement offered during the transportation expo.

The statement said the trail will be 10 feet wide, and the tunnel will be 16 feet wide and 10 feet tall, similar to the tunnel installed under I-15 near Dixie State University. The tunnel will also be lighted to enhance safety and visibility.

While seen as an increased safety measure for pedestrians and cyclists, Cutler said it will also be used to increase drainage in the area during major rain storms like the one that hit Washington County on Aug. 23, 2020, when water from the storm flooded onto the highway in the area of the Bluff Street/Exit 6 interchange and created an additional safety hazard for drivers.

Work on the underpass may start during the summer or early 2022, Cutler said. Road planners may choose to wait in order to have data from a drainage study currently being conducted in the target area.

Other forthcoming UDOT projects through St. George

  • Widening between Bluff Street and St. George Boulevard to add a third lane in each direction.
  • Widening between the Southern Parkway and Brigham Road to add a third lane in each direction.
  • Constructing improvements at the Brigham Road Interchange.

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

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