A 150-foot section of US 89 near Page, Arizona has slumped from underneath the road bed and badly buckled the pavement just south of the large cut through the Navajo Sandstone.
The route is closed while being evaluated by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and is not expected to be reopened for some time. River runners headed to the Colorado River from points north must detour through Tuba City, then head back north on US 89 to 89A to get to Lees Ferry.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s website at: http://www.azdot.gov/CCPartnerships/News/NRel3400.asp some type of “geologic event” and not weather, is presumed to have caused over 500 feet of the hillside to crack several days ago. The cracks are evident in the vicinity of the highway and down the slope for some distance. Stabilization and reconstruction of the hillside and roadbed will likely be a major construction project.
The affected area is well known to river runners and others familiar with the scenic pullout that features a dramatic view toward the Colorado River, approaching the turnoff toward the Ferry at Bitter Springs.
Video of the damage can be viewed at ADOT’s blog at: http://adotblog.blogspot.com/.