St. George looking to connect communities through federal grant

Mar 19, 2024, 8:44 PM

The Utah Department of Transporation has received a $87.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of...

Traffic moves along Bluff Street in St. George on Thursday, April 8, 2021. St. George traffic is heavy, and single-family housing, apartments and commercial real estate are hard to find due growth in the area.

ST. GEORGE — The Utah Department of Transportation has received a $87.6 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the construction of street crossings in St. George.

“The idea behind the grant is to be able to help connect communities that may be divided because of infrastructure from the past. For instance, I-15 in this case,” said UDOT spokesman Kevin Kitchen.

Specifically, the money will go toward under crossings on I-15 in St. George, potentially near 400 East and 900 South. 

Kitchen said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time, as UDOT is beginning its final design of adding additional lanes on I-15 between exits 6 and 8 and hopes to incorporate the crossings within the I-15 expansion project.

Related Reading: St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site raising funds for more storage space

What the crossings will look like and how they’ll be used is still up in the air, Kitchen said, adding that they could be designed for anything from active transportation and pedestrian access to having actual streets pass through.

“I think a lot of people would like to have alternatives to motorized transportation,” Kitchen said. “This helps us with the east-west connectivity in multiple ways. And I think it helps folks just be able to have alternatives to motorized transportation. But at the same time, motorized transportation can be better accommodated, I think, with those crossings.”

He also added that doing the projects under the same umbrella will be a more economical option and help save money.

Coincidentally, the city of St. George applied for the grant — which comes from the federal Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program — a year ago and wound up unsuccessful. 

“We (UDOT) joined up with them and reapplied under UDOT’s name and were able to secure it this time around,” Kitchen said.

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St. George looking to connect communities through federal grant