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Paving begins on future US 89 interim detour route

Navajo Route 20 closed until work is complete
June 17, 2013

PHOENIX — Paving has begun on the shorter, future interim detour route for motorists affected by the US 89 landslide closure south of Page, but traveling on Navajo Route 20 is not an option until construction is completed later this summer.

Navajo Route 20Several vehicles have become stuck in the sand along this 44-mile-long tribal route, which is a mostly dirt road that stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee, and there is limited cell phone coverage in the area. Currently, only local Navajo Nation residents are permitted to travel on N20.

After breaking ground on this Arizona Department of Transportation project in late May, crews have been clearing debris and brush off the roadway, grading and installing water lines in preparation for paving work.

Paving N20 will significantly reduce travel time for motorists heading to and from Page and the Lake Powell area. Currently, the primary detour is to take US 160 to State Route 98, which is approximately 45 miles longer than the direct route. The new detour route will shave half the distance and time to get to Page.

When paving is complete, N20 will be temporarily adopted into the state’s highway system and designated Temporary US 89 (US 89T). After the reconstruction of US 89 is complete, the newly paved US 89T will be returned to the control of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The $35 million project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program, which provides funding to state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures. ADOT has already been awarded $35 million in federal aid, including $2 million in quick release funds to assess the damage and the stability of the mountain slope, and conduct emergency operations.

US 89 has been closed north of Bitter Springs and south of Page since Feb. 20 due to a landslide that buckled pavement on the mountain slope in the Echo Cliffs. There is no timetable for reopening the damaged highway but ADOT is committed to restoring this critical travel route as soon as safely possible.

ADOT has completed its geotechnical field investigation, which is the first phase of the solution. ADOT’s engineers are currently reviewing options for the ultimate repair of US 89, which will be based on the results of the geotechnical work that began shortly after the landslide.

ADOT has launched a range of communication tools, including a Web page ( dedicated to keeping the public informed about the status of the closure and alternate travel routes, complemented by up-to-date video and photos of the roadway damage on US 89.

Motorists with questions can write to or call toll-free 855.712.8530.

The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps you resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad. Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.