Members of Navajo Nation, the Arizona Department of Transportation, and other agencies are celebrating the paving project of Navajo Route 20, after months of planning and negotiation. Funding has already been made and this route has already begun its paving project. This road will be completed and paved by August 15, 2013, only 3 more months of waiting after the initial landslide on February 20th, 2013. This was only two months after Jan Brewer had issued a Declaration of Emergency, which assisted ADOT in receiving reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration for the necessary repairs on US 89, as stated in the blog post from Asphalt Paving & Supply below:
“On March 1st, 2013, Jan Brewer issued a Declaration of Emergency due to the landslide. This declaration will assist ADOT with receiving reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration for the necessary repairs on US 89. In fact, ADOT requested $35 million as their initial estimate for the damages and repairs. In an article by ADOT, ADOT Director John Halikowski stated, “This federal aid will allow us to repair the damaged US 89 roadway and restore mobility to the region by providing a safe route for drivers after this geological event made this route impassable,” and continued on to say, “There is not a quick and easy process to fix the highway because there are a great deal of engineering and geological issues to consider. It is important to figure out what has happened because that will help guide us in what the ultimate repair will be.”
Since then, this estimate of $35 million in federal emergency funds has been awarded and we can even expect repairs to start by the end of this month. On top of that, the State Transportation Board has even approved funding for a shorter US 89 detour. The Navajo tribal road will now serve as a temporary US 89 route once the paving is complete. Although, the geological investigation is still going on, as this is a crucial step in understanding how to prevent further damages like this one on US 89.”… Click Here to read more!
There was an initial detour route was US160 to US 98, but this proved to be timely because this is an additional 45 miles of driving compared to the US 89. This was the reasoning for finding other options of commuting. Many residents are happy with the new Navajo Route 20, even if it means waiting an additional 3 months.