ST. GEORGE — The final segment of the Southern Parkway is nearing completion and is expected to open in late May.
Work on the estimated $75.5 million, 8-mile stretch of road officially designated as state Route 7 began in March 2020 and is set to wrap up with a ribbon cutting on May 19, with the road opening up for public use the next day.
“It’ll be opened up all the way,” Kevin Kitchen, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation, told St. George News. “It’ll be awesome.”
Lingering work on the Southern Parkway’s final section includes paving, some electrical work and the painting of some new structures built as a part of the project, Kitchen said.
The final segment of the Southern Parkway runs from the intersection with Sand Hollow Road/4300 West and around, heading north on the eastern side of the Sand Hollow Reservoir until connecting with state Route 9 in the area of 2700 West.
As a part of the project, four new overpasses have been built at the intersections of Sand Hollow Road, 1100 West and 3000 South and SR-9.
The new overpasses also allow the Southern Parkway to “more easily tie into Hurricane City’s street system,” Kitchen said.
Other improvements made in connection with the project include the installation of a “bike box” – a tunnel at the intersection with SR-9 – that will allow for safer pedestrian and cyclist access in the area. A similar box tunnel replaced the original one between the reservoir portion of Sand Hollow State Park and Sand Mountain last December.
The new tunnel will allow larger vehicles to pass through, Kitchen said.
While slated for a May 20 opening, the final stretch of the Southern Parkway will temporarily open for Ironman 70.3 athletes this weekend as a part of the race course.
For the immediate future, the final portion of the roadway will only be two lanes. This will eventually widen to four lanes, two in either direction, to meet future traffic demand.
The first segment of the Southern Parkway opened in 2009 and starts at the Exit 2 interchange of Interstate 15 at its southern end. Additional sections of the roadway were constructed as funding become available. From start to finish, the Southern Parkway runs for 23 miles.
It also provides access to the St. George Regional Airport and a way to bypass the St. George area on the way to Zion National Park.
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