PHOENIX —The Arizona Department of Transportation cleared another hurdle this week in its effort to get the US 89 landslide repair started. ADOT has finalized an agreement with a contractor for preconstruction engineering services, which includes assistance with the final design and construction logistics for the ultimate fix.
Tempe-based FNF Construction, Inc. was selected by ADOT as the contractor for pre-construction services on the landslide-damaged highway that links Bitter Springs and Page.
FNF Construction is the same contractor ADOT successfully partnered with to complete the Temporary US 89 (US 89T) project, which now serves as the primary detour to and from the Page and Lake Powell areas. The previously unpaved Navajo Route 20 was paved in only three months to become US 89T, which opened to traffic in August.
Through a Construction-Manager-At-Risk contract, FNF Construction will work with the project design team. This early collaboration can lead to completing projects faster with reduced costs. Preconstruction services will also include the design of access roads at the project site that will be needed when construction starts as anticipated this summer.
“Every day, ADOT is getting closer to our goal of starting the US 89 landslide repair to reopen this roadway by the end of the year,” said Steve Boschen, ADOT deputy state engineer for design. “Using the Construction-Manager-At-Risk delivery method will ensure that we can optimize construction efficiency.”
The new preconstruction agreement with FNF Construction does not include the construction project to repair US 89. That contract is expected to be finalized later this spring.
The environmental and design process for a normal project can take two years to complete, but ADOT has been working with the Federal Highway Administration, Navajo Nation, Navajo Division of Transportation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to expedite the environmental, utility and right-of-way clearance and approval processes, knowing the lack of a usable road between the Bitter Springs and Page communities is a hardship for many people.
Recently, ADOT received the necessary environmental and utility clearances on the ultimate repair of US 89. Without the clearances, ADOT cannot use federal funds for this repair project.
ADOT also continues to work with the Navajo Nation on obtaining the new right-of-way easements that will be necessary prior to construction. An agreement between the Federal Highway Administration, Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs must be reached to establish an expanded easement that facilitates construction, as well as operations and maintenance, of the repaired roadway.
The repair is currently programmed at $25 million. The project will include moving the roadway approximately 60 feet toward Echo Cliffs and using that rock to construct a downslope buttress to stabilize the area.
For more information, visit azdot.gov/us89