Tag Archives: Page

Transportation Board Approves Funding for U.S. Route 89 Repairs

Crews inspect a portion of U.S. Route 89 that buckled last February after a landslide. | Courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation

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.

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Navajo Route 20 to Open in September as Detour for U.S. 89

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A 150-foot section of U.S. Route 89 buckled in February. Photo courtesy of ADOT.

 

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

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Making Labor Day Plans? River-Rafting Company, Other Page Businesses Need Your Help

Photo courtesy of Colorado River Discovery.

Photo courtesy of Colorado River Discovery.

The closure of U.S. Route 89 south of Page has cut that town’s most direct link to the rest of the state, forcing visitors to take a 45-mile detour to reach the picturesque southern bank of Lake Powell. The closure has had a profound effect on Page businesses, many of which rely on tourism. Korey Seyler works at Colorado River Discovery, a river-rafting company. Seyler spoke with Arizona Highways about how his business and the town are coping with the closure.

If you’re looking for a great way to get out of the heat, head up to Page and raft Glen Canyon — or visit the town’s other businesses, which could really use your help right now. For more information on Colorado River Discovery, call 888-522-6644 or visit http://www.raftthecanyon.com.

Tell us about Colorado River Discovery.
We offer full-day and half-day trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. This area is incredibly scenic and beautiful, and it allows people to get on the river and see the canyon from a different perspective. We’ve been in business since 2007, and our owners have more than 70 combined years of experience on the river.

How has the closure affected your business, and what are you doing to mitigate those effects?
It’s had a large effect, not only from an operations standpoint but also in inconvenience to our guests. We used to take people down to Lee’s Ferry and bus them back to Page. Now, with the closure, the road trip from Lee’s Ferry back to Page takes three hours.

To avoid that much of a trip back, we now take rafters back upstream, through Horseshoe Bend. That allows people to experience Glen Canyon Dam, the petroglyphs and some of the other great views along the route. Unfortunately, we’ve also had quite a few cancellations because of the additional 45 minutes it takes to get up here.

Are other businesses in Page hurting?
Everyone is taking a hit. Page has seen tourism increases of 8 percent to 10 percent per year in recent years, and I would estimate this year has been about a 10 percent decline from last year.

Are you hearing a lot of complaints about the detour?
The biggest problem that we’ve seen with the detour is the use of technology to try to get here. Some people are blindly following their GPS or cellphones to try to get to Page, and they miss the detour. Then, once they reach the closure, it’s an even longer drive to Page because they have to double back.

What should people who haven’t visited Page know about the town?
I’ve been here for seven years now, but Page has been a hidden gem for a long time. There are an incredible number of activities here — Lake Powell, the Colorado River and the slot canyons, to name a few. Probably the most important of all of those is that Page is right in the middle of a “grand circle” of national parks — Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde and so on. You can use Page as a “hub” and be able to get to all those national parks fairly quickly.

The temporary route [Indian Route 20] will be open soon, and that will eliminate the extra drive time. The extra 45 minutes it takes to get here is worth it to be able to spend a night in Page. If you spend two days here, you’re going to see some incredible things.

For the latest updates on the status of U.S. 89, visit www.azdot.gov/US89.

 

—Noah Austin

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A Friendly Reminder From Our Friends at ADOT: Please Avoid Navajo Route 20

Courtesy of ADOT

Courtesy of ADOT

Just a friendly reminder that if you’re traveling north to Page and the Lake Powell area, please follow the Arizona Department of Transportation’s approved detour, which will take you from U.S. Route 160 to State Route 98. Yes, you might be tempted to take Navajo Route 20, but don’t do it. The road is unpaved and under construction, and several vehicles have already gotten stuck in the loose sand. There’s also limited cell-phone coverage, which means calling for help may not be an option.

Courtesy of ADOT

Courtesy of ADOT

We understand you want to minimize your travel time this summer, but please play it safe and smart, especially if you’re traveling with little ones. Loose sand dunes are dangerous and incredibly difficult to navigate through. Construction on Navajo 20 should be completed later this summer. For the latest project updates, videos, photos and news, visit azdot.gov/US89. Motorists with questions can email them to projects@azdot.gov or call toll-free 855-712-8530.

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Page and Lake Powell Area Are Open for Business.

On February 20, a 150-foot stretch of U.S. Route 89 was significantly damaged by a landslide. As a result, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) was forced to temporarily close the road. Despite the closure, we want to remind everyone that Page and Lake Powell are open for business. In fact, the local businesses there need your help.

“With the busy tourism season coming up, there are a lot of people concerned in Page and the Lake Powell area with how this closure is going to impact their businesses,” says ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel.

It’s also important to note that U.S. Route 89A is not affected by the closure. So if you’re heading to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim (when it opens for the season in mid-May), Fredonia, Lees Ferry or Marble Canyon, the detour won’t impact your drive.

So, as you start planning your summer vacations, don’t forget about booking that trip up north. Yes, the route you’re used to taking is closed, but the 45-mile detour is an incredibly spectacular drive.

For the latest on U.S. 89, visit azdot.gov/US89.

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Pavement Buckle on US 89 in N. AZ Means Detour

 

Photo courtesy of ADOT

ADOT

ADOT News Release:

US 89 in northern Arizona is closed because a 150-foot section of pavement buckled this morning about 25 miles south of Page, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The cause is not related to weather and may be a geologic event.

US 89 is closed northbound at US 89A, which takes traffic west toward Jacob Lake. In Page, US 89 is closed at the junction with State Route 98.

The alternate route to Page will take drivers east on US 160 to SR 98 (about 50 miles) and north on SR 98 to Page. The detour is about 45 miles longer than the direct route.

ADOT crews are on scene and are deploying geotechnical engineers to investigate. It is not known at this time how long the road will be closed.

For the latest highway conditions across Arizona, visit ADOT’s Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1.

View map of the closure area and detour route.

 

Visit ADOT’s Travel Information site at az511, call 511 within Arizona,or 1.888.411.ROAD outside the state for current information regarding road conditions statewide.

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