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Road Woes on the Navajo Nation

Road Woes on the Navajo Nation
January 31
06:01 2020

Navajo Road Woes

By John Christian Hopkins

The Navajo Nation has lots of long and winding roads – and they can seem even more treacherous due to the potholes, ruts and rough conditions that travelers must traverse.

If you’re in Window Rock and travel west, take the roads, though they’re not the best …

Reservation road warriors take their licks before even reaching 66.

One prime example is the washboard road south of Montezuma Creek, Utah.

Even if you slowly increase your speed to cut down on the rattle from rough roads an unexpected deep rut in the muddy road can cause a driver to slam on the brakes to save an axle.

In remote Montezuma Creek, where many people live miles from a paved road, a car ride can resemble the old days of bouncing along in a covered wagon.

Imagine enduring the bumps and bruising conditions after a long day at work or at school, said San Juan County Commission Chairman Kenneth Maryboy.

Some students spend as much as three hours a day on bus rides to and from school.

Maryboy, a member of the Navajo Nation, wanted to lead a press tour through the Navajo Nation portion of San Juan County to highlight the miserable status of the roads,

People are suffering from road woes every day, according to Maryboy.

For decades, San Juan County had performed routine road maintenance on hundreds of miles of roads across the northern Navajo Nation with over $1 million in annual Class B road funding from the state of Utah. The roads were still rough in places, but the county was generally
responsive to major issues, Maryboy said.

But, in April 2018, the Navajo Division of Transportation sent a
letter to San Juan County, saying it had been told by the Bureau of
Indian Affairs to “transition the county route ownership to tribal route
ownership” in a federal inventory.

NDOT said that the county had been performing maintenance
under an “assumed right of way” to the routes, and the Navajo Nation
wanted to assert its claim as the titleholder.
NDOT took over road maintenance on Navajo Nation lands in the
county.

Road Woes on the Navajo Nation - overview

Summary: Road Woes on the Navajo Nation

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