As you can see in the video above, ADOT and the Navajo
Division of Transportation officially broke ground on the Navajo Route 20
paving project yesterday morning.
The ceremony marks the start of a project that we’ve blogged
We’ve told you about N20
, but we’re not sure if we really
emphasized the scope of the project. So, we thought we’d share some facts and
figures with you today that should help paint a better picture and put the
project into perspective.
ADOT closed a portion of US 89 on Feb. 20 after a landslide
occurred and damaged the roadway near Bitter Springs. Engineers and
geotechnical experts have been working since then to determine the best and
safest way to rebuild.
In the meantime, a shorter detour is necessary – currently,
motorists are traveling a 115-mile detour, driving east on US 160 to SR 98
north for access to and from Page. The decision was made to pave Navajo Route 20
to cut the detour travel time and mileage by half.
Upon completion of paving, N20 will be designated as US 89T
and will serve as a temporary detour route for traffic from the closed portion
of US 89. After the reconstruction of US 89 is complete, the newly paved US 89T
will be returned to the control of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
28 miles is the length of roadway that ADOT is
paving. The mostly dirt road that stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee is
roughly 44 miles. Crews have already started initial work including clearing
debris and brush from the roadway and grading.
$35 million is the cost to improve the road. The
project is eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Highway
Administration’s emergency relief program, which provides funding to state and
local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges
that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures. ADOT has
already been awarded $35 million in federal aid, including $2 million in quick
release funds to assess the damage and the stability of the mountain slope, and
conduct emergency operations on US 89.
300,000 cubic yards
is the amount of soil that needs
to be moved on the roadway before the gravel and asphalt can go down. This
estimate means that about 25,000
loads of dirt will be hauled
trucks) around the project site.
5,000 truck loads
of gravel and 5,000 truck loads
of asphalt are the estimated amounts needed for this project.
is the timeline – ADOT expects construction
on US 89T to be completed in mid-August. A project this size might normally
take anywhere from nine months to a year to complete, but this work has been
put on the fast track due to the emergency situation and the impact US 89’s
closure has had on the nearby communities.
We’ll keep you updated on this project’s progress and will
be very happy to inform you when the newly paved road is ready for traffic!