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Arizona panel approves funds for landslide detour

PAGE, Ariz. The Arizona Transportation Board has approved funding for a detour around a landslide that has made U.S. Highway 89 south of Page impassable.

The highway has been closed since February. The landslide caused pavement on the mountain slope to buckle.

Engineers are conducting a geotechnical investigation while crews are monitoring the stability of the slope. The repairs will ultimately be based on the results of the geotechnical work.

The current detour is 115 miles long. With the $28 million approved Friday, a tribal road on the Navajo Nation that runs parallel to Highway 89 will be paved, making for a shorter detour.

Construction is set to begin this month as long as all rights of way and environmental agreements can be obtained from the tribe and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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