The Oak Creek Canyon switchbacks between Flagstaff and Sedona are now completely open. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, this comes on the heels of closures that resulted from wildfire and a major construction project.
The three-mile section of State Route 89A between the Oak Creek Vista and Pine Flat Campground was initially slated for five weeks of closure, ending in early July. But, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced the $2 million project has been completed more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
The work to 89A included resurfacing the highway as well as repair work to the Pumphouse Wash Bridge. Crews also removed potentially hazardous loose rocks from the cliffs above the road. As part of the project, the contractor, Combs Construction, will receive a bonus of more than $100,000 for early completion.
In May, construction crews were evacuated due to the quickly moving Slide Fire and the highway remained closed for more than a week. Workers returned to the job on June 1 after authorities lifted restrictions in the area. Next month, ADOT will finish lane striping in the project area, which will temporarily restrict 89A to a single lane.
Currently, there are no road closures or evacuation orders in place as a result of the Junipine Fire, which began Monday in Oak Creek Canyon.