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Southern Utah town tries to make road safer for cyclists after deaths

Southern Utah town tries to make road safer for cyclists after deaths

Old Highway 91 in Ivins will get a $8.9 million makeover. (Mark Eddington | The Salt Lake Tribune) Traffic volumes on Old Highway 91 averaged…

Saturday, Aug 06

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Old Highway 91 in Ivins will get a $8.9 million makeover.

(Mark Eddington | The Salt Lake Tribune) Traffic volumes on Old Highway 91 averaged 2,100 cars per day during 2019, the most recent numbers available. That’s over three times the 660 cars per day in 2016. Ivins • Soaring traffic and two bike fatalities on Old Highway 91 are prompting Ivins leaders to launch an $8.9 million makeover of a three-mile stretch of the highway that bisects the town in southwest Utah.

“The road is worn out. It has outlived its useful life, " said Ivins Mayor Chris Hart. “We have to redo it in some form, and just adding a layer of chip seal is not going to satisfy the safety requirements.”

The condition of the two-lane road is only one of its problems. It is also too narrow, lacks turn lanes, which causes traffic backups, and doesn’t have adequate shoulders for bicyclists.

“We’ve had two fatalities in the past 15 years where a vehicle has collided with a cyclist because there’s no real shoulder on Highway 91 for bikes to ride on,” said Ivins Public Works Director Chuck Gillette.

Traffic numbers along the once remote route have shot up dramatically due to Indigo Trails, Mojave Mesa and other major new subdivisions cropping up along the highway. Further exacerbating matters is the construction on the Arizona portion of Interstate 15, near the Virgin River Gorge. To avoid delays, many drivers exit the interstate at Beaver Dam and take the back way […]

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