ARIZONA STRIP -- Drivers from St. George to Mesquite, Nev. will run into delays for the next several months in the Virgin River Gorge. The Arizona Department of Transportation started work this week on three of Interstate 15’s bridges along the corridor.
The $2.8 million project will focus on upgrading the southbound bridge surfaces. The 29-mile section of I-15 it sees close to 1.4 million commercial vehicles every year. ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel says it’s routine maintenance to keep up with the heavy traffic.
“All these bridges through the Virgin River Gorge were completed in the 1960’s and in the early 1970’s,” Krugel said. “They all need maintenance. This particular roadway takes a beating.”
The resurfacing on bridges two, three and seven will repair girders and replace asphalt. But later this summer, ADOT will launch a $27 million project that will reconstruct bridge six. This means it will be a busy year on the corridor, and motorists can expect delays.
“There’s very limited alternate routes due to the location,” Krugel said. “If you’re driving between Mesquite, Nev. and St. George, Utah, you need to plan ahead.”
Construction will primarily take place on weekdays during daylight hours. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction at the work sites along the corridor. Krugel said it’s important for drivers to be mindful as the canyon is already fairly narrow.
“Be sure to slow down and remember this is a work zone,” Krugel said.
The resurfacing project is expected to be complete sometime this summer, but that bridge reconstruction project, which won’t start until this spring, will carry into 2015.
Updates and road conditions can be found on ADOT’s website, here: http://www.azdot.gov/projects/far-west/i-15-virgin-river-bridge-rehabilitation/overview