Monday, June 10, 2013

From Navajo Route 20 to US 89T



As you can see in the video above, ADOT and the Navajo Division of Transportation officially broke ground on the Navajo Route 20 paving project yesterday morning.

The ceremony marks the start of a project that we’ve blogged about before…

We’ve told you about N20, but we’re not sure if we really emphasized the scope of the project. So, we thought we’d share some facts and figures with you today that should help paint a better picture and put the project into perspective. 

First, a quick overview…
ADOT closed a portion of US 89 on Feb. 20 after a landslide occurred and damaged the roadway near Bitter Springs. Engineers and geotechnical experts have been working since then to determine the best and safest way to rebuild.

In the meantime, a shorter detour is necessary – currently, motorists are traveling a 115-mile detour, driving east on US 160 to SR 98 north for access to and from Page. The decision was made to pave Navajo Route 20 to cut the detour travel time and mileage by half.

Upon completion of paving, N20 will be designated as US 89T and will serve as a temporary detour route for traffic from the closed portion of US 89. After the reconstruction of US 89 is complete, the newly paved US 89T will be returned to the control of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

N20 by the numbers
28 miles is the length of roadway that ADOT is paving. The mostly dirt road that stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee is roughly 44 miles. Crews have already started initial work including clearing debris and brush from the roadway and grading.

$35 million is the cost to improve the road. The project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program, which provides funding to state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures. ADOT has already been awarded $35 million in federal aid, including $2 million in quick release funds to assess the damage and the stability of the mountain slope, and conduct emergency operations on US 89.

300,000 cubic yards is the amount of soil that needs to be moved on the roadway before the gravel and asphalt can go down. This estimate means that about 25,000 loads of dirt will be hauled (by big trucks) around the project site. 

120,000 feet of water line is being installed to provide water for construction. Water is an important part of construction

5,000 truck loads of gravel and 5,000 truck loads of asphalt are the estimated amounts needed for this project.

3 months is the timeline – ADOT expects construction on US 89T to be completed in mid-August. A project this size might normally take anywhere from nine months to a year to complete, but this work has been put on the fast track due to the emergency situation and the impact US 89’s closure has had on the nearby communities.

Stay tuned
We’ll keep you updated on this project’s progress and will be very happy to inform you when the newly paved road is ready for traffic!

35 comments:

  1. The landslide was in February, the construction timeline is three months. So the road will be finished in May errrrr AUGUST? There goes the summer. AZDOT knew what had to be done on March 1, why was prelim work started then on a small contract basis? Oh, we had to wait for the feds to bail the state out. I thought Arizona was the Tea Party State, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. US-89 a FEDERAL highway so it's the feds that should be pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

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    2. Then why is ADOT jumping in there? They should pull back and let the FEDs handle it.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. N20 is on Indian land. Permission must be granted by the residents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True and they aren't happy with visitors in the area. Expect the roadside to be littered with trash by December.

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  4. Will this route be open to commercial trucks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes ... once work is complete and N20 opens to traffic, commercial trucks will be able to use the route, too. It is being constructed to full state highway standards.

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  5. Has any thought been given to making 89T the permanent solution and not wasting $40 million to repair a section of road on a hillside that will NEVER be stable?

    It'll just slide somewhere else on that section. I am not a geologist but that is very evident to me.

    How about a practical solution and not an engineering solution? Use the money in a wise way somewhere else.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good afternoon, VRG.
      The goal has always been to safely restore the US 89 route.

      The US 89T temporary detour will help bring mobility to the area, however, residents in communities like Bitter Springs and Marble Canyon will continue to face long trips to neighboring Page until US 89 is repaired.

      Engineers and geotechnical experts reviewed several repair alternatives. Ultimately, the construction of a landslide buttress and upslope lane adjustment was considered the most geotechnically feasible preferred alternative. The experts are confident this is the best and safest way to fix US 89 and anchor the landslide to prevent further slides (ADOT’s Deputy State Engineer explains it very well in this video).

      We encourage you to visit azdot.gov/US89 for a look at videos, news releases, photos and blog posts that describe the process experts went through before arriving at their decision.

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  6. I am leading a group of cyclists from the Northern Rim to Page on August 3rd. Will N20 be open in time for us to use it?
    Thank you,
    Paul Gordy
    blueridgecyclist@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, Paul.
      N 20 will not be open by this weekend -- work on the route is expected to wrap up in late August.

      You can get updates on US 89 and N20 by visiting azdot.gov/US89.

      Hope this helps ... thanks for reading!

      Delete
  7. It is said that this alternate route should be done mid August. Is there a date, tentative or exact, that you can tell us. We are spending a week in the area and would like to know to help plan accordingly.

    Thanks, Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, Jason.
      I don’t have an exact date for you, but the temporary detour route (N20/US 89T) is expected to be complete and ready for traffic by late-August.

      You can get news on the project, by visiting azdot.gov/US89. While you’re there, you can also sign up for email updates.

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
  8. Hi. We're travelling across from the UK on September 11, and will be travelling from Grand Canyon to Page on 16 Sept. Can I be confident that the shorter detour will be in place by then and plan accordingly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t have an exact date for you, but the temporary detour route (N20/US 89T) is expected to be complete and ready for traffic by late-August.

      You can get news on the project, by visiting azdot.gov/US89. While you’re there, you can also sign up for email updates.

      Hope this helps!

      Delete
  9. Once open, will the detour be passable in a RV? It's a rental, so we don't want any problems. Is it all paved ?

    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N20/US89T is being constructed to state highway standards -- RVs should have no problem once the road is opened to traffic!

      Work on the route is expected to wrap up in late August. For the latest, visit azdot.gov/US89.

      Delete
  10. Where is a map showing the location of N20? I've looked on azdot.gov/US89 and can't find a thing. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good afternoon,
      You can find a very basic map that shows the location of N20 in this blog post.

      Hope this helps!!

      Delete
  11. Also, are the 89A detours(to Page) via Kanab and via 160 and 98 accessible for a 40ft motor home towing a jeep. Someone led my husband to believe that we could not take either of these routes if we needed to get to Page before Navajo 20 is completed. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The landslide closure has impacted only a portion of US 89. Nearby roadways are operating under normal conditions and should be able to handle your RV.

      To see if there are any travel alerts, restrictions or weather-related impacts along your route, it's always a good idea to visit az511.gov before you hit the road.

      Delete
  12. What is the status on the opening of Rt. 20? There is no update on azdot.gov/us89 - it's still the old info. Will it definitely be done by end of August??? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N20 is scheduled to open prior to the Labor Day holiday, but an exact date has yet to be determined. Once we know a definite date, we will update azdot.gov/US89. We’ll let you know about it here on the blog, too!

      Delete
  13. It is written "28 miles is the length of roadway that ADOT is paving. The mostly dirt road that stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee is roughly 44 miles."
    Does that mean that 16 miles will remain unpaved?

    ReplyDelete
  14. First of all, thank you Angela for all your quick answers.
    Second of all, I think I won't be able to use the paved N20 since our visit is from 8/17 - 8/24.

    Can a miracle happen please~~~.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Angela, thank you! I'm traveling on 8-24 to page, any chance of it being open?

      Delete
    2. N20 is scheduled to open prior to the Labor Day holiday, but an exact date has yet to be determined. As soon as we know a definite date, we will update azdot.gov/US89. We’ll let you know about it here on the blog, too!

      Delete
  15. Is there a reason that there is no mention of the alternate route on N21 between 98 & 89? I understand that this is now open to traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N21 is not an ADOT road. We cannot recommend alternative routes that are not part of the state highway system.

      Delete
  16. Sorry about that. N21 is between 98 and 160 near Tuba City.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for all the blogs & updates, we're visiting from the UK and will be passing through from Grand Canyon to Page on 21 Sept. - fingers crossed for us it will be done by then!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We are starting our vacation on Aug 18th. Will N 20 be open to cars on that day?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N20 will not be open to traffic on Aug. 18. The route is scheduled to open prior to the Labor Day holiday, but an exact date has yet to be determined. As soon as we know a definite date, we will update azdot.gov/US89. We’ll let you know about it here on the blog, too!

      Delete

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