From Navajo Route 20 to US 89T

From Navajo Route 20 to US 89T

June 10, 2013

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 about before…

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.

First, a quick overview…

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.

N20 by the numbers

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 (by big trucks) around the project site.

120,000 feet of water line is being installed to provide water for construction. Water is an important part of construction.

5,000 truck loads of gravel and 5,000 truck loads of asphalt are the estimated amounts needed for this project.

3 months 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.

Stay tuned

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!