Wed, April 01

Oak Creek Canyon road to be blocked for 5 weeks

SEDONA -- The Arizona Department of Transportation is holding a meeting in Sedona next week to confer with businessmen and motorists about the lengthy planned closure of State Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon this summer.

Work to rebuild the state highway through the Oak Creek switchbacks will require closing the highway for a period of five weeks, from May through the end of July.

Dustin Krugel, a spokesman for ADOT says, the closure will allow the highway department to replace pavement, guardrail and scale the cliff walls to remove loose rock. They also need space to perform deck work on a highway bridge. There is no widening of the roadway planned as part of the work.

The roadway is a narrow section of the highway that climbs the Mogollon Rim from milepost 386 to milepost 390, a five-mile stretch. One lane of the highway will be open for highway crews, but there needs to be a full closure of the road to make sure that motorists and workers are safe, according to ADOT.

No contractor has yet been chosen for the project, but the work must be done during the summer months to have the temperatures high enough to allow the new pavement to cure.

The canyon gets a lot of visitor traffic during the summer months. ADOT and the Chamber of Commerce want to make sure there is plenty of notice so that businessmen and commuters can prepare for alternative routes and let communities know of the plans beforehand.

The public meeting on the plans is scheduled at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Wayside Chapel meeting room in Uptown Sedona.

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