Bridge No 6 on Interstate 15 in the Virgin River Gorge is to get major rehabilitation work, including widening. The bridge is located in the gorge, about halfway between Mile Marker 15 and 16.
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid announced the work June 20. He said the $21,600,000 project is to be funded by a grant from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery act, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program.
The Virgin River Gorge bridges are part of the I-15 Mobility Alliance, comprised of over 70 public and private partners, according to the release from Sen. Reid’s office.
“This alliance recognized the Virgin River Gorge bridges to be of highest priority due to their significant impact on the interstate transportation system. Each day, more than 3,000 heavy trucks use the bridges to transport vital products to the west and the rest of the country,” the release notes.
The release adds that according to the National Bridge Inspection Standards, Bridge No. 6 is structurally deficient.
“This grant will allow replacement of the bridge superstructure and increase the width of the bridge roadway,” the release added.
Arizona asked the federal highway department last fall for permission to charge a toll on the portion of I-15 that passed through the gorge to repair the aging bridges. But the request was denied.
This TIGER grant will accomplish some of those needed repairs.
“Closing or restricting weight on the bridge would have significantly increased transportation costs and weakened productivity for businesses,” the release added. “Each year, 1.4 million trucks travel this route to ship and deliver goods and materials.”
“Investing in Nevada’s infrastructure will create jobs and reinforce our state’s economy,” Reid said. “Today’s announcement is good news for Nevada businesses and tourists who rely on Interstate 15 to travel and transport their products to Southern Nevada. I am pleased we will have the proper resources to rehabilitate the structure for the future, and I am confident that job-creating projects like this will help chart a path for Nevada’s economic success.”
“The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, provides opportunities for the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects. The TIGER program enables the United State Department of Transportation to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make investments in our Nation's infrastructure that make communities more livable and sustainable,” the release concluded.