Tribe, county officials resolve road impasse


There was good news Thursday for Navajo families who live on Johnson Road north of Yah-Ta-Hey, New Mexico.

Officials for the Navajo Nation and McKinley County have ended an impasse that had called a halt to plans to upgrade Johnson Road.

McKinley County Manager Anthony Dimas said Thursday the county has been working with the Navajo Nation and the BIA for more than six years to upgrade 6.3 miles of the road and upgrade it from dirt to chip seal.

During that time, Dimas said, the county has spent some $50,000 so far in survey and other costs.

The county had realigned the road just a short distance to the south to avoid archaeological sites along the original route but tribal officials informed the county recently that they wanted the original alignment.

In the meeting Thursday, tribal officials still insisted that the original alignment be used. However, officials for the tribe’s Historical Preservation Office agreed to mitigate the archaeological sites so that the project would not be delayed. They also agreed that the county could start work on those sections of the road not affected by the archaeological sites while they do new surveys.

Dimas said this paves the way for the project to be completed later this year.

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Categories: News