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N20/89T Dedication Celebration

August 30
18:46 2013

According to the Navajo Division of Transportation, The official soft dedication celebration for the former N20, 89T will take place tomorrow, Thursday, August 29, at the junction with the Coppermine Chapter road. Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. (DST). Floyd Stevens, president of Coppermine Chapter, said ADOT’s road crew will continue working on finishing touches for the roadway.

An update from the Arizona Department of Transportation is expected and while ADOT has confirmed the US 89T will open before the Labor Day weekend, there will be some restrictions. Also, according to NDOT spokesperson, Rick Abasta, until the road is officially opened to the traveling public, motorists are still being encouraged to continue utilizing the detour route on U.S. 160 and State Route 98 for travel into Page.

It took 79 days to pave Navajo Route 20. Finishing 11 days ahead of schedule, the crew from FNF Construction, paved the final mile of Navajo Route 20 on August 8, 2013. Construction officially began on May 21. The new road was completed just in time, as the Page Unified School District started the new school year. Hundreds of Navajo students attend school in Page and previously faced bumpy roads and lengthy drive times to get to school.

N20 is now designated as U.S. 89T and will be utilized to restore essential traffic from U.S. 89 while repairs are made, after which the road will revert back to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. U.S. 89 was closed after a landslide damaged a portion of roadway. The Navajo Division of Transportation, ADOT, BIA and Federal Highway Administration joined forces to pave N20 as a detour route.

What originally began acowroads an $18 million project blossomed into an almost $40 million paving construction effort that included 28 miles of paving. U.S. 89T will provide the most direct route, saving 45 minutes of drive time and about 100 miles. Now that the paving portion is completed, construction crews are focused on other facets of the project that need to be completed including right-of-way fencing, refining back slopes, reseeding, bus turnout lanes, and cattle guards. There have been several reports reports of animals on the road causing problems, but according to Jason Yazzie, senior planner for NDOT, all of these items will be done witihin the next two weeks or so.

ADOT also says that thousands of drivers across Arizona can expect fewer obstructions along all state highways this Labor Day weekend as they do not have any scheduled construction-related closures at this time. Existing work zones will remain in place and drivers are asked to use caution in those areas, according to a news release. To check on highway conditions before you travel, visit ADOT’s Travel Information website at az511.gov.

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