Sunday, October 20, 2013

Detour around US89 landslide now fully open

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation reports that the newly paved, shorter US 89 detour route in northern Arizona is now fully open with no restrictions after ADOT completed fencing along the corridor to help prevent livestock from crossing the roadway.  [Right, ADOT photo of US 89 landslide right after its occurrence]

Until now, the Temporary US 89 (US 89T), opened with limited access on Aug. 29, was limited to only daytime use and speed restrictions were present in areas where the fencing had yet to be completed. The maximum speed limit for the corridor is now 55 mph.

The 44-mile-long US 89T route runs parallel to US 89 from The Gap to LeChee and is accessible from US 89, approximately 17 miles north of the US 160 junction (Tuba City exit). Previously a Navajo Nation roadway, US 89T will be maintained by ADOT while it is in use as a detour.

The US 89T project became necessary after a Feb. 20 landslide closed a section of US 89 between Bitter Springs and Page. Prior to paving US 89T, drivers headed to and from Page were forced to take a 115-mile-long alternate route along US 160 and State Route 98.
When traveling on US 89T, ADOT urges motorists to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings and be aware that this roadway on the Navajo Nation is prone to animal crossings, including horses, goats, cows and dogs.

US 89T is not part of the ultimate solution to repair US 89, which suffered a landslide that buckled pavement along the mountain slope in the Echo Cliffs area.

The projected $40 million repair is already on the fast track. Design on the repair began in late August and ADOT is meeting with potential contractors this fall. ADOT’s goal is to start construction by mid-2014, if extensive environmental and right-of-way clearances are finalized. 

To learn more about the landslide, the geotechnical survey and the ultimate solution for US 89, please visit the project’s web page at, or call the ADOT Project Hotline at 855.712.8530, or email at

[reprinted from the ADOT news release]

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