A yearlong project on Interstate 15 between Mesquite and St. George, Utah, that will send some motorists on a 224-mile detour is underway.
The $6.4 million bridge deck repair project on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge began Wednesday and will last through spring 2020, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.
“This much-needed project will help extend the life of the bridges along this busy corridor for passenger and commercial traffic,” said Ryan Harding, ADOT spokesman.
The project was slated to start in April but was delayed because of permitting delays in setting up detour signage in Utah and Nevada, Harding said. ADOT also required detour warning signs to be in place two weeks before the start of a work project.
All vehicles carrying loads wider than 10 feet must use a 224-mile detour route as crews carry out the repairs along the narrow highway, which will be reduced to one lane in each direction, in northwestern Arizona. Other drivers should plan for delays and allow extra travel time because of the narrowing of lanes between mileposts 13 and 16, ADOT said.
Wide-load traffic will be detoured to a route consisting of U.S. 93, State Route 319 and Utah State Route 56 between Las Vegas and Cedar City, Utah. Motorists will pass through Crystal Springs and Panaca on the route.
Because of the terrain within the Virgin River Gorge and the narrow width of I-15 in the area, crews must reduce the width of travel lanes to 10 feet during construction. That will make travel in the 3-mile work zone impassable for vehicles wider than 10 feet.
Crews will divert traffic over to one side of the highway while working on the other, providing one travel lane in each direction.
Contact Mick Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakerson Twitter.