Navajo Bridge

Construction of the US89 Grand Canyon Bridge over Grand (Colorado) River in Marble Canyon began in 1927, a short distance downstream from Lee's Ferry.  In 1928 the ferry capsized, drowning three men and dumping a Model T into the Colorado.  With the bridge nearing completeion, the ferry did not reopen.  The Grand Canyon Bridge opened for traffic in 1929, was renamed Navajo Bridge in 1934.  By 1934, US89 was a 1,685-mile border-to-border highway from Mexico to Canada.

When Glen Canyon Dam Bridge was finished in 1959, US89 was rerouted over the new bridge, and US89 crossing Navajo Bridge between Kanab, Utah, and Bitter Springs, AZ, became US89A (US89 Alternate).  In 1990, it was decided that the traffic flow on US89A was too great for Navajo Bridge, that a new bridge was needed.  The new Navajo Bridge over Marble (& Grand) Canyon opened for traffic in May, 1995.

With I-19 covering the exact route, US89 between Nogalis and Flagstaff was decommissioned as a federal highway in 1992, becoming part of the Arizona state highway system.  Scenic Arizona highway AZ89 through Prescott and highway AZ89A from Prescott through Sedona, is historic US89, rejoining US89 in Flagstaff, where it resumes its route to Canada (although it is not signed as US89 inside Yellowstone National Park).

Note that US89 was closed by landslide just north of its junction with US89A, 15 miles from Navajo Bridge; it reopened March 27, 2015.

We conducted a study in an attempt to reconcile this confusion, which we call Satire on a Parody of Names - the Satire link on the menu.  We attempt to document the changing names of the river (Grand/Green/Colorado) and canyons (Grand/Marble/Glen) over which Navajo Bridge resides, with NPS maps, and a self-debate over the controversies surrounding the names and boundaries.