Partial closure of scenic Arizona highway set

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A 3.5-mile stretch of a popular scenic northern Arizona highway is scheduled to be closed from late May to early July for repaving and other repairs.

The switchbacks portion of Highway 89A in the north end of Oak Creek Canyon between Sedona and Flagstaff will be closed from Memorial Day to July 4, the Arizona Daily Sun ( ) reported.

There also could be single-lane closures of the narrow, twisty route before and after the full closure.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said the work has to be done during the summer when it's warm enough for paving. And safety concerns involving workers who'll be rappelling to remove debris by hand means the work can't be done only at night, the department said.

Travelers between Sedona and Flagstaff will have to divert via Interstate 17, adding at least 15 minutes to their drives.

Resorts in Oak Creek Canyon — a cool retreat for Arizona desert dwellers — get most of their summer business from points south, but many tourists take the highway to drive south to Sedona after visiting the Grand Canyon or travel to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon on their way north.