A plan to improve safety and traffic flow on the road between Flagstaff and Sedona will mean lane restrictions and road closures until the fall, the Arizona Department of Transportation says.

A federal project is adding right-turn and passing lanes, plus wider shoulders, to an 8-mile stretch of State Route 89A. The section of the road is between J.W. Powell Boulevard, just south of Flagstaff, and Oak Creek Vista, a popular viewpoint into Oak Creek Canyon. In addition to the work on the roadway itself, ADOT plans to flatten slopes along the road, allowing drivers to regain control of their vehicles if they leave the roadway.

Starting today (Monday, March 20), the stretch of SR 89A will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly. On weekdays, it will be reduced to one lane from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. During those times, flaggers and a pilot car will guide drivers through the work zone, ADOT says. (The scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon, recently featured in Arizona Highways, won't be affected by the closure.)

For those looking to avoid delays and closures, ADOT recommends using Interstate 17 and State Route 179 to travel between Flagstaff and Sedona. There will be no restrictions on SR 89A on weekends or major holidays, the department says.

For more information about the project, visit www.azdot.gov/89a.