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Northern Arizona landslide not stopping local tourist sites

Northern Arizona tourism areas have decided to stay open despite a landslide shutting down a nearby highway.

According to a release, the Feb. 20 incident on US 89 closed direct routes to the tourism regions of Marble Canyon and Lake Powell in Page. The Arizona Department of Transportation deemed traffic flow between Bitter Springs and Page took precedence in order to aid an area that accommodates over two million visitors per year.

The primary detour route to Page and the Lake Powell area is to travel east from US 89 on US 160 (Tuba City exit) for approximately 50 miles and northwest on State Route 98 for 65 miles, which is approximately 45 miles longer than the direct route. The route is marked as “US 89 Detour.”

While US 89A remains unaffected by the road closure, ADOT began an investigating into the landslide as the first step to developing the best long-term solution for the highway.

Roy Boughton, the executive director of the Page/Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce, explained that the community has rallied regardless of the sudden economic predicament.

“The landslide that inhaled US 89 has really energized the people of Page,” said Boughton. “The first reaction was surprise. There seemed to be some negativity or worry about it. Then people start to get together and they are repeating words like ‘make lemonade.'”