It has been since February 20th that a 500ft section of the road between Page, AZ and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has collapsed. Since then, crews have been hard at work paving a 27-mile dirt road parallel to that section of the US 89. Finally this week it has opened to traffic, albeit with some restrictions. As it turns out, the 45-mile detour going to the US 160 through Tuba City, AZ is still faster than the new road.
Coppermine Road (the former Navajo Route 20) has been paved and reopened as Temporary Route 89 to provide motorists with a shorter way to bypass the closed section of the former US 89. The route was closed due to an underground landslide that opened a gap in the road in a section ironically nicknamed "The Gap". Geologists are still monitoring the area around the damaged road. They have proposed a $40-million-project to secure a new road over the old one, however it would take two years to build and it has not yet been approved.
The newly paved temporary road has been opened to alleviate Labor Day traffic, however crews are still working on securing the road. In the meantime, a speed limit of 25 miles-per-hour is in effect and driving at night is restricted to local traffic only. Officials warn that wildlife and livestock traversing the road pose a serious danger to motorists since a fence has not yet been put in place alongside the road.
Stay up-to-date on the development of the new detour on the Arizona Department of Transportation blog site. For the time being, it may be a longer distance, but stick with the original detour through Tuba City in order to get to your destination faster.