Temporary US 89 route to open Thursday

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation says the newly paved Temporary US 89 route will open just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

ADOT said Wednesday that US 89T will open with restrictions on Thursday.

Crews are still working to install right-of-way fencing along the corridor, which has a large amount of livestock,  and until the fencing is complete, US 89T will remain open only during daylight hours for non-local residents.

There will also be a 25 mph speed limit.

US 89 was closed earlier this year following a landslide. ADOT said paving US 89T has cut the detour time nearly in half, and US 89T is similar in length to the closed US 89 route.

“After the Feb. 20 landslide, ADOT quickly moved to establish a designated detour route along US 160 and SR 98 to ensure motorists could travel through the region,” said Jennifer Toth, deputy director of transportation. “But we knew that detour route, with its additional 45 miles, posed a negative impact to those community members who rely on US 89 every day. That’s why this project was so critical to complete in record time.”

Reconstruction of US 89 is expected to cost $40 million and take more than two years to complete.

After US 89 is repaired, ADOT says US 89T will be returned to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and will be referred to again as Navajo Route 20.