Crews inspect a portion of U.S. Route 89 that buckled last February after a landslide. | Courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation
Good news for Page, Lake Powell and the rest of Northern Arizona: Work on rebuilding a collapsed section of U.S. Route 89 will begin later this month.
At its meeting last week, the Arizona Transportation Board approved a $25 million project to repair the highway, which was damaged last February by a “geologic event.” (Our bosses at the Arizona Department of Transportation are now calling the “event” a landslide.)
About 500 feet of roadway in the Echo Cliffs area, 25 miles south of Page, buckled after the landslide. The project will move the roadway 60 feet away from the landslide area, ADOT said in a news release. Crews will also construct a buttress to stabilize the road.
If all goes as planned, U.S. Route 89 will reopen by summer 2015, when travel to Page and other Northern Arizona destinations is heaviest. Until then, travelers can use U.S. Route 89T, a section of Indian Road 20 that ADOT paved last summer, as a temporary detour.
For more information about the project, visit the ADOT project page.
Cheyenne L Rouse | Haboob moving into Chandler
Well, it’s official. June 15 marked the start of the monsoon season, and that means dust storms (and hopefully some rain, too). Due to the intensity of some dust storms, our friends at the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) are asking drivers for their help with a survey, which is designed to gauge driver reaction to dust storms, measure ADOT’s educational efforts and explore other ways public-service agencies can reach out to motorists about the dangers of dust storms.
In addition to the survey, selected community members will have the opportunity to participate in focus groups to help shape ADOT’s future public-education efforts about dust and other low-visibility events that impact highway travel.
Visit http://surveyentrance.com/run/pib/p1990/adot/ to begin the survey.
Did you know Arizona Highways is a publication of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)? It’s true! Knowing that, reader Ray Borchert recently contacted us to ask the following question:
Can you tell me what all of the sensors that are being installed in the local highways are for? There are an awful amount of them in the [Loop] 101. They look the same as the ones that were used for the photo enforcement.
We reached out to ADOT’s constituent services officer, Rusty Crerand, to find out what’s going on. “The sensors being installed on Loop 101 are part of our Freeway Management System,” Crerand says. “This sophisticated computerized system allows us to monitor traffic flow and adjust our ramp meters accordingly to maximize traffic flow.”
The sensors have nothing to do with speed or photo enforcement, Crerand says, adding that the sensors also help ADOT post travel times on freeway message signs during morning and evening rush hours.
Got a question you’d like us to ask our friends at ADOT? Let us know in the comments.
Courtesy of Yarnell Daze
If you’re planning on attending this weekend’s annual Yarnell Daze celebration — appropriately called Don’t Take Yarnell for Granite — keep in mind that State Route 89 in Yarnell (mileposts 276-278) will be reduced to one lane on Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Traffic will be guided through town by a pilot car, so expect some delays.
This year’s Yarnell Daze is especially significant after last year’s devastating Yarnell Hill Fire. “The town remembers the 19 men who lost their lives and hopes to honor them by celebrating the thousands of volunteers who have worked so hard to help rebuild our tiny community,” says Jerry Florman, this year’s Yarnell Daze chairman. “The event has taken on a life of its own. There have been so many people calling who want to be a part of it. There is a tremendous amount of energy coming into our lovely mountaintop town. … It’s just awesome.”
Visitors to this year’s fest can expect plenty of fun-filled events, including a parade, car show, beer garden, food, live music, lots of vendors, an antique marketplace and, of course, tons of stuff for the kids — think ice-cream-eating contest.
For more information about Yarnell Daze, visit, www.y-pvchamber.com/YarnellDaze.htm.
For more information about this weekend’s lane restriction, e-mail email@example.com or call the ADOT Project Hotline at 1-855-712-8530. You can also visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at www.az511.gov or call 511.
Pamela Baca-Hanes | Skies over Big Lake in the White Mountains
Good news from our bosses at the Arizona Department of Transportation: Three state roads that pass through the White Mountains will reopen April 15 after being closed for the winter.
The roads that will reopen are:
- State Route 261 between Eagar and Big Lake
- State Route 273 between Sunrise Park Resort and Big Lake
- State Route 473 between State Route 260 and Hawley Lake
Unlike past winters, there wasn’t much snow accumulation on the roadways this season, but ADOT still needs to inspect the roads to clear any snowdrifts or downed trees, and to make any necessary repairs.
For the full ADOT release, including some tips for summer driving on these scenic and winding roads, click here. And if you’re looking for a spectacular White Mountains Scenic Drive, along with a portfolio featuring many shots of the area … well, just wait until you see our July issue.
Courtesy of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
There’s no getting around it: Driving from Phoenix to Las Vegas — Arizona’s closest big-city neighbor — can be a pain. The most direct route, which follows U.S. Route 93 from Wickenburg to the Vegas area, can be relatively slow going, especially in places where the road narrows to two lanes. And although the Hoover Dam Bypass, completed in 2010, saves some time, the fact remains that these two major cities aren’t connected by an interstate highway.
Our bosses at the Arizona Department of Transportation have been exploring that idea, and according to an article published this week in The Arizona Republic, the proposed Interstate 11 has gained momentum over the past two years. ADOT, in conjunction with the Nevada Department of Transportation, is studying the feasibility of such an interstate. But there are valid viewpoints on both sides of the I-11 proposal, and whether you think it’s a good idea or a bad one, now is your chance to have your voice heard.
The public-comment period on the study is still open, but it ends Friday, March 7. To share your thoughts and learn more about the proposed route, head over to the I-11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study page.