Motorists advised to plan for travel time in Virgin River Gorge as Labor Day approaches

Posted at 10:37 PM, Aug 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-27 00:37:41-04

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE, Ariz. - With a long weekend just a few days away, the Arizona Department of Transportation is warning drivers about potentially long delays south of St. George.

Drivers in the Virgin River gorge have been dealing with delays for the past few months due to two separate construction projects being done along Interstate 15.

Crews recently finished resurfacing two bridges.

“We’re basically replacing the entire bridge,” said ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel. “It’s a $27 million project. We have a lot of heavy cranes in the area.”

Krugel said that during previous holiday weekends, traffic has backed up close to two hours in the gorge. That’s why they’re asking drivers to allow for plenty of time.

“There is a work zone in place that will remain through the holiday weekend,” Krugel said. “There will be no work taking place this weekend, but there is a work zone.”

Drivers heading to and from Las Vegas can expect additional delays. The Nevada Department of Transportation says an ongoing resurfacing project on I-15 north of Las Vegas could delay traffic another hour over Labor Day.

It’s enough that many drivers say they’re taking their vacations early, just to avoid traffic.

“Two months ago I planned to be back at home before Labor Day weekend before all the nuts are out,” said California resident David Cooper. “The last time we came through, which was, I think a month or so ago, it took us like four hours to get to where we were going on the other side of Vegas.”

Drivers are urged to check road conditions as they travel, that can be done by dialing 511 for each state you’re driving in.

Updates can also be found on the state’s websites: for Arizona and for Nevada.