Saturday, May 11, 2013

No timetable for reopening US89 closed by landslide

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation says there is currently no timetable for reopening US 89 which was closed earlier this year because of a landslide near Bitter Springs, south of Page [photo credit, ADOT].   Instead, the unpaved Navajo Route 20 (N20) is going to be paved starting at the end of the month to offer an alternate route. ADOT expects it to be complete in late summer.  The paving project was projected to cost $28 million.   The Federal Highway Administration has approved $35 million for repairs to US89.

An ADOT announcement says:

  • This schedule assumes that the necessary agreements which are currently pending are finalized and in place.
  • Improvements to US 89T (N20) will pave the unpaved 27-mile segment of N20 and includes the installation of fencing, cattle passes, cattle guards, and signage. 
  • ADOT will consider bus pullout opportunities adjacent to US 89T (N20).
  • Commercial vehicle traffic (trucks) will be allowed on US 89T (N20) once paving is complete.
  • Once the paving is completed, ADOT would designate the route as US 89T (N20) and would provide roadway maintenance services.  After repairs to US 89 are complete, US 89T (N20) will be relinquished to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

US 89 Landslide Area
  • Development of the Draft Final Geotechnical Report is anticipated to be complete at the end of May.  The Draft Final Report will provide recommendations for roadway repair.
  • There is currently no timetable for reopening US 89, but ADOT is committed to restoring this important travel route as soon as safely possible.
  • Strict security measures on US 89 are being enforced to ensure the safety of the crews and emergency vehicles.  This area is still considered unstable and is not safe for public travel. US 89 is closed to all traffic with the exception of authorized ADOT crews and emergency vehicles.  Additional security fencing and ongoing efforts to monitor the site are in place to prevent security breaches.
  • In the event of an emergency, the public is encouraged to contact Navajo Emergency Services at 928.283.3111. 

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