ARIZONA NEWS

ADOT estimates $33.5 million needed to reopen Apache Trail on SR 88 since its closure

Oct 9, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 10:15 am

PHOENIX — Apache Trail, a five-mile corridor on State Route 88 between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Dam, needs $33.5 million in funding to reopen since its closure in 2019.

The figure was determined by a report from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Apache Trail was closed after the 2019 Woodbury Fire that left the road scarred and subsequent flooding caused further damage to guardrails, bridges and the drainage system. Boulders were displaced in a rockslide that blocked the roadway.

No planned funding has been set aside for this unpaved section of the roadway but before the closure, the scenic route was used by an estimated average of 232 vehicles per day.

“Subject to funds becoming available, we are proposing improvements that would reduce the chances of future damage from storms and enhance safety for motorists,” Paul Patane, ADOT planning division director said in a release.

“We understand State Route 88’s place in the hearts of many Arizonans and have a recommendation that prioritizes safety and responsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

State Route 88 has been designated as a historic and scenic road and as a National Forest Scenic Byway.

The funds would be used to chip seal the roadway throughout the five mile stretch and widen it 15 feet in steep areas. Rock bolts would be added to unstable rock faces. Increased drainage capacity, bridge rehab, concrete barriers, pullouts and signs to warn of safety hazards would also be added per the final design concept report.

The Woodbury Fired burned nearly 124,000 acres in June 2019. In September 2019, six inches of monsoon rain fell in the area causing runoff damage over the fire scar, making the roadway impassable.

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ADOT estimates $33.5 million needed to reopen Apache Trail on SR 88 since its closure