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ADOT hoping to 'shrink' time frame for U.S. 89 repair

Modified: Thursday, Aug 1st, 2013

U.S. 89

The Arizona Department of Transportation is still estimating it will take about two-and-a-half years to fix landslide-damaged U.S. 89, but an ADOT representative said Aug. 1 he is challenging his environmental team to cut months off the process.

Steve Boschen, the agency’s deputy state engineer of design, told a group of citizens at city hall that the two-and-half-year time frame is a worst case scenario but added, “You have ADOT’s assurance we’ll try to shrink that as much as possible.”

He said actual construction could be completed in about 12 months, but that environmental regulations might take up to 18 months.

In response to a question from Page resident Traci Varner, Boschen said the process began July 29 when representatives from ADOT and the Navajo Nation held a “cultural consultation.”

“There’s some archeology out there,” he said. “I saw some hogans when I was walking the site.”

Most of the brief meeting was spent reviewing ADOT’s geotechnical report, which prompted the department to choose the repair option of cutting back the mountain slope in order to move the highway about 60 feet farther into the mountain and constructing a gravity-buttress wall at the bottom of the slope.

ADOT has estimated it will cost about $40 million.

An underground landslide caused the highway to buckle and break Feb. 20 and it’s been closed since.

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