The stretch of 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona will be closed for construction this summer as repairs to the switchbacks are made. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Parker Olson reports, the repairs will not widen a narrow stretch of road.
The five-week closure of Hwy. 89A is only the beginning of the reconstruction plan. But, a particularly narrow section will not be widened. Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Dustin Krugel says the project, set to begin after the Memorial Day weekend, is an improvement project, not an expansion project.
“That is a particular area that has little to no shoulders, just because of the geography of the area. It presents a whole set of unique challenges,” Krugel says.
Due to the lack of adequate road size, ADOT has taken precautionary measures, including a reduced speed limit for the section to mitigate potential danger to motorists and cyclists. Kruger says safety is a main focus of the improvement project.
“We’re going to repave the entire roadway to give it brand new pavement. In addition to that, we also have a lot of rock-fall mitigation work that’s going to be done in this area. This is an area that this very narrow, twisty section of roadway is prone to rock falls,” he says.
The project is scheduled between Memorial Day and the 4th of July because it is the best time to repave. In an effort to complete the project as soon as possible, ADOT has provided the contractor monetary incentives to complete the project ahead of the scheduled five-week closure.