PHOENIX – Working around the clock to protect motorists and restore a key route through northern Arizona, the Arizona Department of Transportation has reopened US 89 after flooding severed the roadway late Wednesday between Flagstaff and Page.
“It’s testimony to the dedication of so many ADOT personnel, men and women who responded immediately and worked tirelessly, that residents, tourists and commercial vehicles are once again using US 89,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “We’re grateful to our partners, including the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Coconino County and Federal Highway Administration, who stepped forward to help keep traffic moving through the region and get this critical work done.”
The flooding, caused by the remnants of Hurricane Rosa, cut through a 30-foot section of US 89 and the earth beneath it, necessitating extensive repairs and closing the highway between Cameron and US 160 on the Navajo Nation.
With short-term repairs complete, motorists should expect reduced speed limits through the area.
Reopening the highway in less than 48 hours was no small task. To get traffic moving again, more than 40 ADOT personnel responding from as far away as Page, Payson and Williams had to thoroughly assess the site, excavate the damaged areas, haul in and compact 500 cubic yards of material to restore the roadway’s base, and put down 120 tons of asphalt pavement.
To prepare for a project that will make longer-term repairs, ADOT will assess roadway and drainage conditions in the immediate area.
ADOT coordinated with AZDPS, the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe on a temporary detour route using Interstate 40, State Route 87, State Route 264 and US 160 to keep traffic moving through the region. That detour nearly doubled the driving distance for those traveling between Flagstaff and Page.
ADOT will seek reimbursement for the repairs through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program.