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Interchange renovations on I-15 to cause detours

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-09 21:52:20-04

ST. GEORGE – Drivers on I-15 through St. George will encounter detours Friday and Saturday as construction crews continue demolition on part of the exit 8 overpass.

It’s part of a project to improve traffic flow along St. George Boulevard, a spot Utah Department Of Transportation officials said is one of the busiest in Washington County.

“What they’re going to do is remodel the bridge,” UDOT region four spokesperson Kevin Kitchen said. “Basically, so that we can get that new traffic pattern on there, the ‘diverging diamond.’”

The “diverging diamond” configuration puts traffic on opposite sides of the road across the overpass, and allows for a more continuous traffic flow, including easier left hand turns. It’s a configuration that UDOT officials said has seen success in Salt Lake and Utah counties. That’s what led contractors to consider it’s placement in Southern Utah.

“One of the things we’ve been able to see is to cue traffic and to have good signal timing,” Kitchen said. “It’s always been a challenge there because of the proximity [to Red Cliffs Drive and River Road.]”

Crews will close down I-15 Northbound Friday and Saturday nights between 11p.m and 7 a.m. to complete demolition on the bridge. Detours will be in place to accommodate the extra traffic expected on the weekend.

It’s not a complete tear-down. Architects are using the existing structure, but the footprint does need to be expanded.

“As the design team looked at that, and which way to expand that, they decided it would probably be better worth their time to leave portion of the bridge there,” Kitchen said.

The interchange is expected to be complete November 29th. More information on the project can be found on UDOT’s webpage.