Dana Meier of The Utah Department of Transportation (a.k.a. UDOT) is the man with the plan for the state’s rapidly expanding roadways in St. George Utah, otherwise known as region 4. As the program manager for Southern Utah’s most recent expansion on the areas highways and byway explains, “there is still a lot that needs to be accomplished before the Southern Parkway is completely open for business.”
According to Dana, the mission statement for the Utah Department of Transportation in Southern Utah is tied into the departments overall goal – “to keep Utah moving.”
As such, the goal of the areas Southern Parkway is to help build the economy, while at the same time providing alternatives for getting around St. George’s downtown area. In addition to avoiding the hustle and bustle of St. George’s sometimes hectic downtown area, the Southern Parkway will provide an efficient conduit for funneling many of the areas visitors to the near by Zion National Park.
Thus far, the state has dumped over $180 million into this project, as they try and plan for Southern Utah’s inevitable population explosion.
From its inception, the Southern Utah Parkway was designed and built in six contiguous segments. The first segment, which has already been completed, stretches from I-15, starting at exit 2 – otherwise known as the Atkinville interchange. Then running approximately 4 miles down to the Utah-Arizona border and over to the River Road interchange.
Phase 2 of Southern Utah Parkway – which has also been completed – then runs from the River Road junction for another 4 miles, accessing the new St. George Utah airport and thereby providing room for expansion and greater opportunity for the areas local economy.
Phase 3(A) and 3(B) are planned to run from the Airport Parkway intersection for 3 miles up to a Warner Valley Road interchange. With 3A already completed and 3B currently under construction, 3B is anticipated to run 4.5 miles before connecting with the phase 4 section of the Southern Utah Parkway at the Washington damn road.
Thus far unfunded and un-built; the Phase 4 section of the Southern Parkway will run from the Warner Valley Road interchange 8 miles over to a 4300 West interchange.
Phase 5 of the Southern Parkway will run from the 3000 S. in Hurricane 8 miles around the south end of Sand Hollow Reservoir and up to State Route 9 at about 2800 West in Hurricane. Leaving Phase 6 as little more than an opportunity to upgrade the room conditions from SR-9 back to I-15.
Anticipating that the majority of Washington County’s growth will happen East of the I-15 corridor in the next 20+ years, the Southern Utah Parkway and the Western Corridor of the Dixie’s Beltway will provide an opportunity for growth in Washington County well into the future.