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An Extensive Pavement Project Is Underway In Oak Creek Canyon North Of Sedona

Oak Creek Canyon is a gorge carved into the edge of the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau along the Oak Creek Fault. Tectonic forces shifting the land to either side of the fault and subsequent erosion by Oak Creek have created a spectacular canyon where the geologic history of this area is an open book.The Canyon is approximately 12 miles long. Oak Creek flows year-round along the bottom of the Canyon, providing water for plants and wildlife, as well as fishing and swimming opportunities. Oak Creek continues on through Sedona, Arizona, meeting up with the Verde River southeast of Cottonwood, Arizona.The depth of the Canyon ranges from 800 to 2000 feet, with trails providing access from the Canyon’s bottom up to the 6500-foot eastern rim and 7200-foot western rim. Some of these trails follow historic routes early Oak Creek Canyon settlers used to access the top of the plateau in the days before the road was built. Trails on the west side of the Canyon head into Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness.Multi-photo panorama by Deborah Lee Soltesz, June 12, 2015. Credit U.S. Forest Service Coconino National Forest. Learn more about Oak Creek Canyon and the Coconino National Forest.

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Road work has started in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Sedona. ADOT crews will be working from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Monday through Friday to replace the top three inches of pavement on State Route 89A, in both directions, for 12 miles. The just over eight-million dollar project will also replace more than 30-thousand feet of guardrail and remove trees identified as roadside hazards on both sides of the highway. Tree removal will occur from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for about six weeks. ADOT says the project will not only extend the life of the pavement, but also improve safety for all highway users by installing guardrails to meet current safety standards. Officials say to expect significant delays, so allow for extra travel time through the area. The project is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2020.