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US89 In Arizona Closed Due To Geological Event

A 500-700 foot section of US89 in Northern Arizona has crumbled according to the Arizona Depart of Transportation “US 89 to remain closed as ADOT assesses damage“. ADOT has also posted some video on youtube “US 89 Pavement Buckle (February 20, 2013)” showing how impressive the damage is.

While the Arizona Department of Transportation is still trying to determine what exactly happened to cause the ground to shift beneath US 89 Wednesday morning (Feb. 20) the agency continues to assess the significant damage to the highway. Geotechnical engineers are currently evaluating the stability of the mountain slope, approximately 25 miles south of Page.

“This area encompasses close to 500 feet of damaged pavement, but we had the opportunity in the plane to circle the area twice and it looks like the settlement could be a lot larger,” said Robert Samour, ADOT senior deputy state engineer of operations. “The area over the guardrail drops off a couple hundred feet; we saw some cracking in the soil down the slope, so I would say that this is probably a 500- to 700-foot section that we’re going to have to take a good look at for settlement.”

US 89 will remain closed for an extended period of time. There is no timetable to reopen the highway, which has over 150 feet of pavement that buckled approximately four to six feet.

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