I-15 goes south through Utah, crossing into Arizona for 29 miles through the spectacular, steep, sometimes dangerous Virgin River Gorge, before entering Nevada. Mesquite is the first Nevada city with Vegas just 80 miles away.
But the bridges in the Virgin River Gorge are deficient or near-deficient and Arizona says the gorge is in a little bitty unimportant part of their state. So they want permission from the feds to put up toll booths.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is not amused. “If Arizona has been negligent in its maintenance of I-15, it should not try and foist its responsibility onto highway users or neighboring states who already pay into the system with their own tax dollars.”
I-15 is the only north-south interstate in the area. There are no alternate routes within easy reach, especially for trucks, as this is rugged, mountainous area.
I drive I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge regularly. The Utah and Nevada I-15 stretches are well-maintained. The Arizona segment is not. Arizona needs fix its interstate. Their real problem is they are seriously broke, so infrastructure repairs aren’t getting made. And they’re hardly the only state that’s not doing what needs to be done.
11% of all highway bridges in the US are “structurally deficient,” many are in urban areas and used by millions of drivers every day. But absolutely, let’s continue having more wars and rebuilding infrastructures of other countries first while giving tax breaks to millionaires. That’ll certainly solve the growing infrastructure problems here in the US.