PHOENIX – As the battle against the Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon winds down, the ongoing highway-improvement project along the "switchbacks" section of State Route 89A will resume this weekend, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The previously-scheduled closure of the three-mile stretch of SR 89A between the Pine Flat Campground and the Vista scenic overlook south of Flagstaff will remain in place for several weeks while crews remove loose rocks above the switchbacks, complete other safety improvements and resurface the highway.
SR 89A will reopen to traffic before the Fourth of July weekend.
While the switchbacks section along SR 89A is closed, ADOT recommends drivers use Interstate 17 and State Route 179 to travel between Flagstaff and Sedona.
The $2 million SR 89A improvement project began on April 21, with lane restrictions in place along the switchbacks. The full closure of the highway had been scheduled to start on Tuesday (May 27) but crews were temporarily pulled off the project more than a week ago (Tuesday, May 20) due to the Slide Fire.
SR 89A was closed for several days between Slide Rock State Park and Fort Tuthill near Flagstaff, but local authorities plan to lift wildfire-related checkpoints by late today (Friday), leaving the highway closed for the improvement project along the switchbacks.