Construction begins on thoroughfare road in St. George

Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-24 22:14:43-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah - A major collector road in St George is getting completely cut off for several months. It’s part of a project aimed at making it safer for bicyclists and motorists.

On Monday, road crews began demolishing the just over a mile long section of Indian Hills Drive. Some residents who live along the road say the complete overhaul of the is long overdue. Public Works director Cameron Cutler said the once country road sees about 3,300 cars a day, and has become a major commuter route for bicyclists and pedestrians, and needed to be widened.

“We can’t just have two lanes of travel, with no shoulders, because you can’t get around [bicyclists] safely,” Cutler said. “It’s still going to be two lanes of roadway, but there’s going to be about six-foot of shoulders on both sides of the road going up along that road.”

Riley Stottern has lived next to Indian Hills for over 20 years. He said the concerns are real. He’s witnessed several close calls of cars trying to share the narrow road.

“Bikers have been nudged and run off the road,” Stottern said. “And it’s so narrow that if you’re trying to pass another car going the opposite direction, there’s not enough room there.”

The upgrades come at the cost of time. Cutler said the expected closure will last three months, until the end of June.

While folks like Stottern say it’s worth the inconvenience, others residents like Joe Galinski think it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

“All they really needed to do was repave the thing,” Galinski said. “Not tear everything up as you see now.”

The road will be closed to through traffic the entire length of construction, but residents who live along this road can still use temporary access points throughout construction, depending on where contractors are working.