One year after a 150-foot section of U.S. 89 south of Page buckled and sunk four feet, Arizona Department of Transportation is gearing up to start construction in early summer.
An ADOT spokesperson said an extensive geological investigation into the Feb. 20, 2013 landslide ended in July and has since been working with an engineering design firm, developed plans for the repair and finalized all federally-required environmental reviews.
"The environmental and design process for a normal project can take two years to complete, but ADOT has been working with the Federal Highway Administration, Navajo Nation, Navajo Division Transportation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to expedite the environmental, utility and right-of-way clearance and approval process, knowing the lack of a usable road between the Bitter Springs and Page communities is a hardship for many people," ADOT said in a statement Wednesday.
The road collapsed at mile post 526 just 2.5 miles north of the intersection with U.S. 89A, about 25 miles south of Page, according to an ADOT spokesman. He said the incident was not related to the weather.
In August, Navajo Route 20 was paved and became US 89T route. ADOT said by paving NR 20, crews were able to cut the detour route in half.
The repair project, which will include moving the roadway about 60 feet toward Echo Cliffs and using that rock to stabilize the area, is estimated to cost $25 million, according to ADOT.
ADOT said the repair project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway Administration's emergency relief program.
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