Little Colorado River overlook to receive improvements

Road construction has started on State Route 64 leading to the Grand Canyon from Cameron, Arizona. (Photo/Navajo Department of Transportation)

Road construction has started on State Route 64 leading to the Grand Canyon from Cameron, Arizona. (Photo/Navajo Department of Transportation)

CAMERON, Ariz. — The Navajo Division of Transportation (NDOT) has partnered with the department of Navajo Parks and Recreation (NPR) to improve access to the Little Colorado River Outlook west of Cameron on Arizona Route 64 (AZ64).

The project consists of adding a turning lane into the park, widening the roadway, concrete box culvert extensions and repaving both the access road and parking lot.

NDOT Executive Director Garret Silversmith said the project prioritizes safety and improving visibility in the area.

“Adding an eastbound turning lane and repaving the access road into the park are improvements that promote safety,” Silversmith said. “Repaving the parking lot benefits tourism and supports the local economy.”

Notice to proceed was given on March 29 to Show Low Construction. The contractor has 75 working days to complete construction and beyond that, 45 additional days to perform seeding to prevent erosion. 

Construction is slated to be complete by July 4 and will cost approximately $2.4 million.

Separate to roadwork, NPR will modernize the vendor staging area and develop permanent booths.

On NPR’s behalf, contract compliance officer Nathaniel Boyd said improvements were funded through the Hotel Occupancy Tax established by the Navajo Nation Tourism fund.

“This particular park was one of our top three priorities,” Boyd said. “It would not have been possible without the assistance of the Navajo Tourism Department and the Hotel Occupancy Tax funds allocated to this project.”

From NDOT, money was allocated from the Road Fund, which utilizes funds from the Navajo Fuel Excise Tax. When consumers purchase fuel from gas stations licensed by the Navajo Tax Commission, 18 cents per gallon is put toward the Road Fund.

“In order to accommodate traffic volume, we need to facilitate road safety in the immediate area,” Silversmith said. “As we strengthen road safety, we also strengthen tourism and economic development. These things can only be accomplished through partnership.”

Information provided by NDOT

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