When a 150-foot portion of U.S. Route 89 buckled in February, travelers in Northeastern Arizona faced bumpy roads and long delays. Now, the newly paved Navajo Route 20 will be rededicated as U.S. 89T and will eventually serve as a detour route. Below, you’ll find the official press release from the Navajo Division of Transportation.
BODAWAY GAP-It only took 79 days to pave Navajo Route 20. Finishing 11 days ahead of schedule, the crew from FNF Construction, Inc. paved the final mile of Navajo Route 20 on August 8, 2013. Construction officially began on May 21. FNF was contracted by the Arizona Department of Transportation to pave 28 miles of N20. Assisting them was AZTEC Engineering and RUMCO. The new road was completed just in time, as the Page Unified School District started the new school year. Hundreds of Navajo students attend school in Page and previously faced bumpy roads and lengthy drive times to get to school. N20 is now designated as U.S. 89T and will be utilized to restore essential traffic from U.S. 89 for a period of three years, after which the road will revert back to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. U.S. 89 was closed on Feb. 22, after a dry landslide damaged a portion of roadway near the Bitter Springs and Echo Cliffs area, south of the Big Cut. The Navajo Division of Transportation, ADOT, BIA and Federal Highway Administration joined forces to pave N20 as a detour route.
“This was a game-changing collaboration,” said Paulson Chaco, director of NDOT. “Not only did ADOT get this paving done in such a short timeframe, but we all came together to expedite the project.” … The official soft dedication celebration for the road will take place on August 29, at the junction of the Coppermine Chapter road and N20. Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. (DST). Floyd Stevens, president of Coppermine Chapter, said ADOT’s road crew will continue working on finishing touches for the roadway through Sept. “We’re very excited about the opening. The word is already out,” Stevens said. Until the road is officially opened to the traveling public, motorists are encouraged to continue utilizing the detour route on U.S. 160 and State Route 98 for travel into Page. Information: http://www.navajodot.org or http://www.azdot.gov/us89