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Navajo Route 20 to open Aug. 29

Modified: Wednesday, Aug 28th, 2013

Cow travels newly paved Navajo Route 20.

(UPDATED Aug. 28 with further details from ADOT)

Drivers headed to Page and the Lake Powell area this Labor Day weekend will have another option when the Arizona Department of Transportation opens the newly paved Temporary US 89 route (US 89T) on Aug. 29, albeit with some restrictions.

The limited-access opening will occur following the formal Navajo Nation dedication ceremony (10 a.m. DST) marking substantial completion of the project. The former Navajo Route 20 route runs parallel to US 89 from Gap to LeChee and is accessible on US 89, approximately 17 miles north of the US 160 junction (Tuba City exit).

While the 27-mile paving operations have been completed, US 89T remains an active construction zone as crews continue to install right-of-way fencing along the corridor, which has a large amount of livestock.

Until fencing is complete, US 89T will be open during daylight hours only (except for local residents) and there will be a 25 mph speed limit in place. When construction is complete, the speed limit will be raised and nighttime restrictions will be lifted.

The highway was chosen as the detour around the area of U.S. 89 that was torn up by a landslide in February. Plans call for 89T to be used until U.S. 89 is repaired—an estimated three years—after which it will revert to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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