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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Cab Ride

A couple from New York paid $3000 to ride a cab from NY to Sedona, AZ becasue they didnt want their cat to deal with the airlines.

A New York couple who wanted to spare their cats a trip in an airliner cargo hold during a cross-country move completed a 2,500-mile cab ride to northern Arizona on Monday.

The Matases, who are retiring in Arizona, met cabdriver Douglas Guldeniz when they hailed his taxi in Manhattan after a shopping trip three months ago and jokingly invited him to come along on their upcoming move.

Modern Ruins

I have traveled between Albuquerque and the Phoenix area about 100 times. I have tried every route possible settling on the Albuquerque to Flagstaff via I-40 then Flag to Phx via I-10. This is the fast way taking less then 8 hours (a lot less if your not worried about Cops). I’ve written about the trip before and some of the sites to see. Some of the interesting parts are the modern ruins of Route 66 along I-40. I never knew Route 66 as a road only what I have seen driving along at high speed and can only imagine what it was like when Route 66 was a real road.

Just west of Albuquerque is the Rio Puerco Bridge. This bridge is an remnant of the orignal Route 66 and the New Mexico highway department has chosen to keep it in tact for history along with a little bit of the original route 66. What facinates me most about this bridge is it appears to be a 1 lane bridge. With people zipping by on nearby I-40 it’s hard to imagine a time when people had to slow down for this. You can read more here. The sign on the bridge reads the following” “This parker through truss located on the historic route 66 was built in 1933. It was fabricated by the Kansas City Structural Steel Company and erected by F.D. Shufflebarger of Albuquerque. It’s 250 good lenght is on eo fhte longest in New Mexico. Repairs and remodeling were completed in 1957. This structure was replaced in 1999 and is being preserved by the New Mexico State Hightway and Transportation Department.”

On down the road in Arizona you will find the Meteor Crater, “50,000 years ago, a huge iron-nickel meteorite, hurtling at about 40,000 miles per hour, struck the rocky plain of Northern Arizona with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT. The meteorite estimated to have been about 150 feet across and weighing several hundred thousand tons, in less than a few seconds, left a crater 700 feet deep and over 4000 feet across”. You will find a modern vistors center at the crater site itself. What is most interesting is the original visitors outpost located along the old route 66. It amazes me how quickly and easily a building can be come run down so quickly.

I can only imagine what a place Two Guns was back in it’s day. The run down buildings once held wild animals one of them still partially stands to say “Mountian Lions”. There’s a standing bridge crossing the Diablo Canyon which was part of the original route 66 road. The whole place is for sale you as of this writing you can drive up on the property. I assume that is so prospective buyers can take a look at the place. Looks like there was once an attempt at a modern gas station but apparently didn’t get enough business.

Twin Arrows is another abandon outpost along the old Route 66. Looks a little more modern and from the gas price still partly up on the sign it appears to be opened sometime during the last decade at least. I guess people don’t need to stop as often as they use to for gas thought this station looks a lot more interesting than the run of the mill “modern” stations do. There’s more to Twin Arrows then what you can see from the interstate as the old Route 66 loops back and around this gas station to the Padre Canyon Bridge. There’s nothing to stop you from driving along these areas of old Route 66.

You can read more about these sites and others along Route 66 here