ADOT field office set up to handle US 89 questions
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
Residents with questions about the US 89 closure sparked by a landslide on Feb. 20 now have a place to go to get updates and their questions answered.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has set up an office in Page that is staffed twice a week.
ADOT will have a representative at Page City Hall at 697 Vista Ave. in Page from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday.
Recently, the state transportation board said a 45-mile-long Navajo tribal road will be used as a temporary state highway to route traffic around a damaged area of US 89 that has been closed for a month.
A hillside landslide buckled part of US 89 north of Bitter Springs and south of Page.
Navajo Route 20 between The Gap and Page will become US 89T and be used as an alternate to a closed stretch of US 89 south of Page, the board decided during a special meeting Thursday.
"ADOT has been working with the Navajo Division of Transportation, the Navajo Nation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to pave N20 as an interim measure to shorten the detour route between Flagstaff and Page," said Dallas Hammit, ADOT deputy state engineer of development.
Hammit said that with help from the Federal Highway Administration, federal emergency relief funds would be used to restore essential traffic in the region on a temporary basis until US 89 reopens. The price tag is about $1 million.
"This is not the long-term solution, but it will help the thousands of people who are inconvenienced daily by this unscheduled detour caused by last month's landslide," Hammit said.
State Department of Transportation crews will pave Navajo Route 20 and ensure it can carry commercial truck traffic while repairs are made to US 89.
Work on the tribal route that parallels US 89 is expected to take up to four months to complete.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.