Beeline Highway closed for weekend - East Valley Tribune: News

Beeline Highway closed for weekend

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Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:26 pm | Updated: 9:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Beeline Highway will remain closed between the East Valley and Payson this weekend as crews attempt to clear an embankment washed away by underground springs.

VIDEO: View ADOT footage of the cracked Route 87

Department of Public Safety officials were uncertain late Friday about when the highway, also known as state Route 87, would reopen.

The Arizona Department of Transportation already was blocking one lane with temporary concrete barriers so crews could repair the damage beginning Monday, but additional flooding and landslides made the road impassible.

Once the highway reopens, not until Monday at the earliest, it will stay restricted through June, ADOT officials said.

During that period, drivers will find about one mile of the narrower highway, also called state Route 87, restricted between Sunflower and Rye. That will affect East Valley drivers headed to Payson or the White Mountains.

Some barriers were already in place to keep dirt from washing onto the highway, but they were not sufficient to prevent additional subsidence Friday.

This weekend, northbound lanes are being routed onto the Bush Highway, and southbound lanes are being diverted onto state Route 188, DPS officials said.

The highway was shut down Friday evening before any collisions occurred, DPS said.

Once the closure is lifted, ADOT will resume work expected to continue through mid-June.

ADOT will remove the barriers and halt work over the Memorial Day weekend to avoid massive backups as Valley residents vacation in cooler places. But the barriers will return after that weekend.

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