ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A highly-anticipated road construction project underway for almost a year in St. George will continue into 2017, after a series of setbacks.
The Mall Drive underpass tunnels under I-15, aiming to alleviate severe traffic congestion at two of St. George's busiest intersections.
While the multi-million dollar construction project looks nearly finished, it's not, according to UDOT's Ray Bentley.
"We are far from being done," Bentley said.
The project was first scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving, before a few issues forced the project into the New Year.
"We've been watching it the entire time. We were wondering how they were even going to do this," Mary Barth said, neighbor.
Tunneling under the interstate hasn't been easy. Crews discovered a large sand dune under the road, which caused stability issues.
"There are all kinds of screws that go into back into the ground on an angle and the screws weren't holding. They'd pull them out," Bentley said.
Contractors had to redesign the holding walls and double the support screws. The fiber optic lights are also delayed six weeks. For the paint to dry, the weather needs to stay above 45 degrees for two full days.
Neighbors say they are anxious for the construction to wrap up.
"This will be nicer. It will. But it will be busier," Barth said.
The new completion deadline is slated for the middle of January.
During the process, crews widened a large section of I-15 on top of the underpass.
The project is a partnership between the City of St. George and the State of Utah.
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