U.S. Route 89 landslide repairs to begin this month

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PAGE, Ariz. -- The reconstruction of the U.S. Route 89 between Bitter Springs and Page will begin later this month after the State Transportation Board approved a $25 million project to repair it, according to a press release from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The roadway suffered damages during a February 2013 landslide and has remained closed after a 500-foot section of road buckled roughly 25 miles south of Page.

Last summer, ADOT paved Navajo Route 20, which has served as the temporary replacement for U.S. Route 89 ever since. Repairing the roadway would complete ADOT's long-term approach to the landslide.

The reconstruction will involve moving the roadway approximately 60-feet away from the landslide area and using rock material to stabilize the section. Nearly 1 million cubic yards of rock material is expected to be removed and a 1,500 foot section of the U.S. Route 89 will have to be realigned.

Heavy work on the project is not expected to start until late August, when crews are expected to begin drilling and blasting to build the rock buttress that will stabilize the area.

The repair project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration's emergency relief program. The programs provides funding to state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters.

The U.S. Route 89 is expected to be repaired and operational before traffic picks up for next summer's travel season. There is monetary incentive for the contractor working on the project to finish the effort ahead of schedule.