ST. GEORGE – Work on Interstate 15 between the Brigham Road and the Dixie Drive/Exit 5 interchanges has officially come to an end after nearly a year.
The Utah Department of Transportation announced Friday via email work had completed after 310 days. All lanes are open and there are no more traffic cones in sight.
“We thank you for your patience during the construction of this project and wish you and yours a happy holiday season and safe travels,” UDOT officials said in the project’s final email update Friday.
Set between Exits 4 and 5 on I-15, the purpose of the project was to add an auxiliary lane in both directions that now allows drivers to enter the freeway and exit at the next interchange without merging with through-traffic or changing lanes – basically just driving straight on through.
The new lanes are anticipated to improve traffic flow and enhance safety.
Adding the new lanes required demolishing and replacing the narrow bridges over the Virgin River. In addition to providing a third lane of travel, the new bridges can accommodate the creation of a fourth lane in the future.
With the completion of the project, UDOT provided the following points of interests:
- Approximately 24,000 cubic yards of material was excavated around the river and the Virgin River was “moved” two times.
- There were two significant flood events in the river that affected work.
- Bridge foundation shafts are anchored into bedrock approximately 60 feet below the ground surface.
- Approximately 15,000 cubic yards of rip-rap was placed to protect the new bridges from scour and erosion during future flood events.
- Approximately 11,000 feet of 4-foot diameter concrete shafts were installed to stabilize the soil and protect the bridges during an earthquake.
- The roadway required 18,000 tons of new asphalt.
- There are over 1 million pounds of reinforcing steel and 4,400 cubic yards of concrete in the new bridges.
- Approximately 12,750 square feet of new retaining walls were installed.
While motorists may rejoice in one road project coming to an end, they can also anticipate the beginning of another in St. George as UDOT begins work on widening the northern part of Bluff Street in early 2018.
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