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Feds authorize emergency funds for US 89 repairs

PAGE, Ariz. The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $35 million emergency grant to repair a stretch of U.S. 89 in northern Arizona.

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

The grant was announced Friday by U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. The Arizona Democrat says officials have been pushing for the emergency funds because the highway is critical to rural communities.

The grant can be used to pay for emergency repairs to restore essential traffic, minimize the extent of damage or permanent repairs necessary to restore the highway to its pre-disaster condition.

The Arizona Transportation Board has also approved funding to pave a detour on Navajo Nation land parallel to the highway.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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