The Arizona Department of Transportation expects to complete a paving project on Navajo Route 20 just in time for the Labor Day weekend. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, the road will be a temporary traffic solution to the closure of U.S. 89 after a landslide in February caused severe damage to the highway.
Officials with ADOT say the paving of N20 should be complete sometime next week before the start of the Holiday weekend. It will serve as a temporary detour route for a section of U.S. 89 that buckled and became unusable after what officials call a "geologic event" and subsequent landslide. The temporary road, N20, stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee and is approximately 44 miles long. For the last 6 months, motorists have had to travel 115 miles of detour roads to get to and from Page and surrounding areas. ADOT says the repaving project is expected to cost $35 million and is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program. It provides funding to state and local agencies for repairing highways, roads and bridges damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures.