IVINS, Utah (ABC4) – Leaders in Ivins, a neighboring city to St. George in Southern Utah, are looking to make some upgrades to Old Highway 91 as growth continues to affect traffic in the area, but they’re now asking for additional help paying for the project due to recent price hikes.

Engineers with Ivins City are looking to make updates to Old Highway 91 and add in a new trail, but officials say due to inflation, supply chain issues, and price hikes, the estimated cost has doubled since planning began two years ago.

“Originally when we priced out the project it was more in the 4-5 million dollar range and now it’s in the 7-8 million dollar range,” says Tom Jorgensen, the assistant city engineer.

Jorgensen says they have funding sources from the state and federal government but are hitting a financial gap as the city’s contribution must also double to keep up with the costs for updates.

“So instead of contributing about one million, originally now we’re looking at more like 3 maybe not quite 4 million dollars,” says Jorgensen.

He says Old Highway 91 through Ivins is currently a two-lane road, intersecting with several main roadways, lacking turning lanes, posing a safety threat.

City officials say there have been multiple car accidents involving bicycles, two of them being fatal in the last 15 years.

“We’ve seen a lot more traffic out on Highway 91 because of the growth in Ivins but if the gorge between Mesquite and St. George, I-15 gets shut down a lot of that traffic actually gets rerouted along the Old Highway 91,” says Jorgensen.

Jorgensen says the city is now seeking additional assistance from the state or federal government, by applying for grants and aid as inflation along with growing pains is causing some challenges for the small city.

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