Hwy 89

Shelly: Highway 89 closed for 8 months

2013-02-27T05:05:00Z 2013-02-27T08:26:26Z Shelly: Highway 89 closed for 8 monthsDAILY SUN STAFF Arizona Daily Sun
February 27, 2013 5:05 am  • 

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly met Sunday with leaders from several affected communities to discuss the impacts of the Highway 89 closure.

The gist was that the highway will be closed for eight months and Navajo Route 20 will be improved for local traffic, possibly tapping emergency funds to complete its paving.

According to information released by the Navajo Division of Transportation Tuesday, Shelly said repairs were being conducted on a 150-foot stretch of highway that collapsed about 25 miles south of Page.

He directed NDOT to work with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to start maintaining Navajo Route 20, which is a 28-mile dirt road from Bodaway Gap to LeChee near Page.

The purpose: to assist Navajo Nation residents affected by the closure -- not general through traffic, which is too heavy for the small road to handle. An alternate route to Page on paved roads through Tuba City, Shonto and Kaibeto -- an additional 50 miles -- has been established for regular Highway 89 traffic affected by the closure.

In declaring the collapse of the highway an emergency -- affecting residents in Bodaway, Coppermine, LeChee, Cameron, Tuba City and Coal Mine -- Navajo Nation officials said they could possibly receive funds to finish paving N20.

In the near future, grading activities on N20 are being scheduled two times a month for the next six to eight months.

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(2) Comments

  1. tahola
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    tahola - February 27, 2013 10:12 am
    I am a Flagstaff resident, too and have been in negotiations about a seasonal job in Page. This would be my only, albeit low income for this summer. With the added travel time and cost for gas I might not be able to afford to accept this job. I also would hope that the Navajo authorities would open up N20 for locals. An easy way to identify locals would be to have us get/buy a sticker/vignette like Europeans do for the high maintanance alpine toll freeways in Austria, Italy and France.
  2. JeffJJ
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    JeffJJ - February 27, 2013 8:29 am
    I am a Flagstaff resident, and I travel to Page frequently both for business and for personal reasons. My hope is that our Navajo neighbors will allow the use of N20, and as an alternative, N21, as public travel routes for all local residents. The published detour using US 160 and STH 98 can stand as far as tourist and commercial traffic is concerned. I for one would appreciate the opportunity to save time and fuel cost on my frequent trips between Flag and Page.
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