A Phoenix neighborhood mourns the potential loss of its character.
State Route 89A Closure Starts This Weekend
A three mile stretch of road along 89-A will be closed over the next several weeks. The closure starts this weekend and will cover the “switchback” section of the highway, between the Pine Flat Campground and the Vista scenic overlook south of Flagstaff.
This closure was planned to start after the Memorial Day weekend, but crews were pulled away because of the Slide Fire. Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Doug Nintzel says they went in to survey fire damage as soon as they were able.
"Well the good news is that we went in and found that the fire did not cause a lot of changes for us in terms of the project we are doing," said Nintzel.” So that is the good news and that is why we are getting back in there and we’re going to complete things before the Fourth of July."
The $2 million project includes removing loose rocks above the switchbacks, guardrail safety work and resurfacing the highway along the three mile stretch. "In an area where you have rock faces above the highway we are always keeping an eye on things," said Nintzel. "Part of the work is rock scaling where crews will be up along the cliff faces and they will be looking to remove any loose rocks — that in turn reduces risk of rock fall in the coming years."
Nintzel doesn’t anticipate the delay will add to the total cost of the project.
Oak Creek Campground and Sedona will still be accessible by I-17 and State Road 179. "We have been working closely with Sedona, the businesses and the residents so everyone is communicating the fact that the canyon is still available," Nintzel said.