ADOT pauses road work to give southbound traffic in Virgin River Gorge more room for holiday weekend

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MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. - Utahns traveling south past St. George this weekend will find a little more room in a Virgin River Gorge construction zone.

The Arizona Department of Transportation opened two lanes on southbound I-15 through the work zone at mile post 16. Crews there are rebuilding the bridge spanning the Virgin River. They reached a transition point and decided to give drivers a little reprieve for Labor Day.

“We really just kind of caught a lucky break this week with us now moving on to the next phase,” said ADOT Spokesman Dustin Krugel. “It just didn’t make sense to start that work this week.”

Krugel said, based on previous holiday travel numbers (particularly during Labor day) delays have reached upwards of two hours. Unfortunately, the extra space is just on the southbound side. Barriers on the northbound side remain in place in preparation for the next phase of construction that will start immediately after the holiday.

Even though work has stopped, the area is still a work zone, meaning speeds are reduced. Krugel said they’re urging drivers to still plan accordingly and plan for the unexpected.

“Be prepared for those unscheduled restrictions,” Krugel said. “Because there could be disabled cars on the side of the road. There could be crashes.”

Even with a short break, Krugel said reconstruction of the bridge is still on schedule and is expected to be complete by mid 2016.

Road conditions can be checked by calling 511 in the state, or online here.