IVINS, Utah (ABC4) – Leaders in Ivins, a neighboring town of St. George in southern Utah, are seeking improvements to old Route 91 as growth continues to affect traffic in the area, but they are now asking for more help to pay for the project due to recent price increases.
Ivins City engineers are looking to update the old Route 91 and add a new trail, but officials say that due to inflation, supply chain issues and price hikes, the estimated cost has doubled since planning began two years ago.
“Originally, when we priced the project, it was more in the range of $4-5 million and now it’s between $7-8 million,” says Tom Jorgensen, assistant city engineer.
Jorgensen says they have state and federal funding sources, but are running into a financial shortfall because the city’s contribution must also double to meet the costs of the updates.
“So instead of contributing about a million, originally, we’re looking at more like 3, maybe not quite 4 million dollars,” says Jorgensen.
He says the old Route 91 through Ivins is currently a two-lane road, which intersects several major roads, with no turning lanes, which poses a safety threat.
City officials say there have been several car accidents involving bicycles, including two fatalities in the past 15 years.
“We’ve seen a lot more traffic on Highway 91 due to the growth of Ivins, but if the gorge between Mesquite and St. George, I-15 is closed, a lot of that traffic is actually rerouted along the old Highway 91,” says Jorgensen.
Jorgensen says the city is now seeking additional help from the state or federal government, asking for grants and aid, because inflation and growing pains pose problems for the small town.
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