Na’ha’ta Dziil community celebrates completion of new bridge

The community of Na’ha’ta Dziil, Arizona celebrated the completion of a new two-lane bridge. (Photos/Navajo Nation Council)

The community of Na’ha’ta Dziil, Arizona celebrated the completion of a new two-lane bridge. (Photos/Navajo Nation Council)

NA’HA’TA DZIIL, Ariz. — The community of Na’ha’ta Dziil, Arizona celebrated the completion of a new two-lane bridge along N2007, located along I-40 and replaces one constructed in 1942, which had safety concerns because of its age and usage.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer joined Navajo Division of Transportation Director Garret Silversmith, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Raymond Smith Jr., Navajo Area Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Director Gregory Mehojah and Na’ha’ta Dziil officials to celebrate July 25.

“The completion of this project is another example of what can be accomplished when leaders and communities work together for the greater good of our people,” Nez said. “There is a new bridge that will make transportation safer for school buses, first responders, and all residents who use it on a daily basis.”

Nez said the administration continues to make greater progress through collaborations between NDOT and the Navajo Engineering Construction Authority.

“Together, they are doing great work both in numerous communities to improve roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” he said. “We congratulate the Na’ha’ta Dziil community and all of the past and current leaders who made this a success.”

The construction work included a new 4-span concrete bridge, asphalt pavement, lane striping, grading, installation of guardrails and 9 piers, right-of-way fencing, and other miscellaneous construction activities. In 2014, $18 million was secured through the Federal Highway Administration for Tribal Transportation Program for the project.

“Together we are building a stronger and more sustainable Navajo Nation. This is a giant step forward for families and everyone who uses this roadway,” Lizer said. “In the years to come we will see the economic and public benefits of the newly built bridge.”

Na’ha’ta Dziil Commission Governance President Darryl Ahasteen spoke about the bridge history, challenges, and delays that community members have dealt with for many years. Council Delegate “We thank all past and current leaders who made this project a priority for the community. We extend our appreciation to the Navajo Engineering Construction Authority, Apache County Officials, Nahata Dziil Commissioners, and Navajo Area BIA Regional Director Gregory Mehojah for being in attendance. The combined efforts and working together made this possible for the community,” said Navajo Division of Transportation Director Garret Silversmith.

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