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By: Lynn Kelly on 02/20/2013
U.S. 89 in northern Arizona has been closed until further notice due to a sizable section of the highway which has buckled and collapsed about 25 miles south of Page. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Lynn Kelly reports.
A section of US 89 in northern Arizona collapsed Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Arizona Department of Transportation)
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the cause of the highway damage looks to be that of a geologic event that occurred overnight Wednesday.
ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel says from what they’ve determined, the section is hundreds of yards long, much larger than they first estimated.
“The top priority right now obviously from a safety standpoint is to take a look at this from that geo-technical standpoint, what is happening with the ground in that area," Nintzel said. "So we do have to take a look at that, it's not going to be a quick fix. No doubt about that. And the state is working on what would be known as an Emergency Declaration for this event.”
For the foreseeable future, the section of U.S. 89 will remain closed in both directions between U.S. 89A and the U.S. 89 junction with State Route 98 in Page.
Motorists for now will be detoured to U.S. 160 to S.R. 98, which is about 45 miles longer than the direct rout, causing at least an extra hour of travel time.