Coal Creek Road project to add roundabout, replace bridge; 2-night closure of I-15 scheduled

The Coal Creek Road bridge over Interstate 15 is scheduled to be replaced in 2021. Cedar City, Utah, June 1, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Construction is expected to start soon on a road project that will renovate and widen Coal Creek Road in Cedar City and replace that street’s bridge that spans Interstate 15. The work will entail a closure for the interstate during two nights later in June.

The intersection where Coal Creek Road meets Kitty Hawk Drive and Bulldog Road is the site of a planned roundabout. Cedar City, Utah, June 1, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

As part of the project, a roundabout will be constructed at the intersection where Coal Creek Road connects with Kitty Hawk Drive and Bulldog Road on the west side of I-15.

Kevin Kitchen, communications manager for Utah Department of Transportation’s Region 4, said the bulk of the funding for the $8.65 million project is coming from federal highway infrastructure funds. Cedar City Corporation will be contributing just over $500,000, while another $200,000 is coming from state funds allocated by the Joint Highway Committee. 

Wadsworth Brothers Construction, which is based in Draper, has been awarded the bid for the project. Work is scheduled to start mid-June.

Kitchen said the project calls for a two-span precast bridge where Coal Creek Road goes over I-15 that will enable the interstate to be widened eventually.

“We’ve got two lanes in both directions right now,” he said. “In the future, we could potentially have three lanes, with that extra lane going towards the center of the interstate.”

Kitchen said the bridge itself will be widened as well, going from lanes that are currently 11 feet wide with no shoulders to 12 feet wide with 8-foot shoulders and a 6-foot sidewalk.

“That’s a significant widening that will help with active transportation,” he said.

The project also includes widening of sections of Coal Creek Road and Bulldog Road, with curb, gutter and sidewalks being added, along with some drainage, Kitchen said.

“To accommodate all of that, you’ll see a roundabout at Kitty Hawk, Bulldog and Coal Creek, connecting those three together,” he said.

UDOT fact sheet about the Coal Creek Bridge project scheduled to start in Cedar City, Utah, in June 2021| Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News / Cedar City News | Click to enlarge

According to the timeline posted on UDOT’s project fact sheet, work on the project is scheduled to begin June 14, with Coal Creek Road being closed that day.

I-15 will be closed on or around June 21-22 in both directions from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., while the bridge is demolished. Traffic will be rerouted through town between Exits 59 and 62. Crews will mark designated detours along Airport Road, Old Fort Road and Main Street. 

Another round of I-15 closures is anticipated in late summer as the new bridge is installed, with the project expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards said the project has been years in the making, with plans taking shape starting around 2008 based on conceptual ideas that began as far back as the 1990s.

“It hasn’t been a fast project, because there are so many different entities that have had to sign off on it,” Wilson-Edwards told Cedar City News, “but to finally be at the point of getting this bridge replaced, not only for the vehicular traffic that goes across there, but also to get a designated pedestrian sidewalk so pedestrians can safely cross from one side of I-15 to the other in that area is huge. … It really is a safety issue for community.”

The mayor acknowledged that this would be an inconvenience, especially for the industrial traffic and residents who live in the area.

“But it’s so needed in the long run,” she said. “You kind of have to jump at the opportunity.”

Wilson-Edwards asked residents to be patient and mindful of the construction work as they adjust their travel routes 

“It is always an inconvenience,” she said. “It takes a little longer, you have to detour, you have to be a lot more aware of your surroundings. So truly, we just ask for patience in the short term for a much better product in the long term.”

Those who have questions or concerns about the Coal Creek project may contact the UDOT Team Hotline by phone at 435-417-9417 or via email.

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

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