A $11.6 million paving project on the section of Interstate 15 that passes through the Virgin River Gorge began this week, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT).
On Tuesday, July 17, the speed limit in the southbound lane was reduced to 35 mph from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. between milepost 17 and 18 as AZDOT crews closed one lane in preparations to repave that section. On Monday, the shoulders were closed southbound between mileposts 12 and 13 as crews posted warning signs of the lane closure five miles ahead.
The entire project will stretch from milepost 13 to 29 and is expected to be completed by the end of October. Drivers should expect lane closures as the project moves from area to area.
But AZDOT noted that major traffic impacts should not occur until the end of July.
The project resulted from a feasibility study about the problems on the segment of the interstate, which needs repair in several areas.
AZDOT officials proposed establishing a toll to pass through the Virgin River Gorge on I-15, but the U.S. Department of Transportation rejected the request. On June 20, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid announced that AZDOT would receive a $21.6 million federal grant to rehabilitate bridge No. 6 in the gorge, one of eight.