PHOENIX — One of Arizona’s most scenic roadways in the state highway system will get a bit of makeover starting next week.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will begin a $2 million paving project on a portion of State Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon.
Drivers on State Route 89A will face single-lane restrictions during daytime hours Monday through Thursday along portions of a 3½-mile stretch through the area known as the switchbacks.
The highway will be open for the Memorial Day Weekend, but close right after for five weeks. ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel said that while some residents and businesses will be inconvenienced during construction, if this project was done under any other traffic control condition, it would extend the project by several months.
The project will repave the road between Pine Flat Campground and Oak Creek Vista overlook (mileposts 387-390) in the Coconino National Forest. The area is midway between Sedona and Flagstaff, just north of the popular tourist destinations in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.
“This time frame was chosen because it’s the most favorable time to apply the new pavement, which is temperature sensitive, and it’s before monsoon season, when rain can delay paving.”
The project will also have crews removing rocks.
“We’re going to have workers rappelling down the mountainside and removing loose rock. So for their safety and the safety of drivers we will need this 5 week closure.”
Krugel said during the full closure the recommended detour from Sedona to Flagstaff will be Interstate 17. The detour could add up to an extra half-hour of travel time.
Emergency responders will be allowed in at all times.