Paving begins on alternate route to US 89 in Ariz.

PAGE, Ariz. (AP) - Paving has begun on an alternate route to a buckled highway in northern Arizona.

That will help motorists affected by the U.S. 89 landslide closure south of Page.

A 150-foot section of pavement on the highway buckled on Feb. 20 in what Arizona Department of Transportation engineers call a "geologic event."

There still isn't a timetable for reopening the damaged highway.

But traveling on Navajo Route 20 is not an option until construction is completed later this summer.

ADOT officials say several vehicles have become stuck in the sand along the 44-mile-long tribal route, which is a mostly dirt road that stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee.

When paving is complete, Navajo Route 20 will be designated Temporary U.S. 89 and cut 45 miles off the current detour route to Page.

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