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PHOENIX - The state Transportation Board has designated a 45-mile-long Navajo tribal road as a temporary state highway.

Navajo Route 20 between The Gap and Page will become US 89T and be used as an alternate to a closed stretch of US 89 south of Page.

The board approved $1 million for the design phase during a special meeting Thursday.

US 89 north of Bitter Springs and south of Page has been closed since Feb. 20 because of a landslide that buckled part of the highway on a hillside.

State Department of Transportation crews will pave Navajo Route 20 and ensure it can carry commercial truck traffic while repairs are made to US 89.

Work on the tribal route that parallels US 89 is expected to take up to four months to complete.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Associated Press,

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