Hwy. 87 Work Will Slow Traffic

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Expect delays on Highway 87 at the March 2008 landslide area after crews close the southbound lanes of traffic for 16 days starting May 4.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will close the southbound lanes near Sunflower for a mile, and shift southbound traffic to one of the northbound lanes from May 4 to May 20, said public information officer Bill Williams.

The work will begin at 9 p.m., Monday, May 4, with the closure of both southbound lanes at the junction of Highway 188, routing traffic to Globe until 5 a.m., Tuesday, May 5.

ADOT will then open one lane in each direction on the northbound side, with a 45 mph speed limit and no loads wider than 12 feet allowed until May 20.

The closures will allow crews to work on last year’s landslide near Slate Creek. Workers will remove concrete barriers and install a 12-foot-wide drain pipe adjacent to the southbound lanes.

Phase two of the project began in early 2009 and includes the construction of a retaining wall on the west side of SR 87 and additional erosion-control measures.

After the southbound lanes are reopened, Williams said construction should continue for another two to three months.

The March 21, 2008 landslide at milepost 223 closed the highway for a week. The damage from the largest landslide in ADOT history has already taken a year and $8 million to repair.

“There has not been one of that size or magnitude,” Williams said.

Motorists can call 511 or visit www.az511.gov for state highway updates.

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