The Arizona Dept. of Transportation is working to restore US89A after heavy rainfall on August 9 covered miles of the highway between Marble Canyon and Jacob's Lake with mud and boulders.
The update from ADOT explains that the House Rock Flood was caused by approximately one-and-a-half inches
of rain in less than 20 minutes, according to the National Weather
Service. As a result, crews were busy last week clearing mud and debris
that collected on the roadway and in box culverts underneath the roadway
to prevent possible damage during future storms [bottom, credit ADOT].
The crews, aided by heavy equipment including an excavator and road
graders, removed some boulders that were as large as 15 feet in diameter
that traveled approximately two miles from the Vermillion Cliffs [top, credit, ADOT]
Currently, less than one-half mile of US 89A is restricted to one-way
traffic at milepost 551, approximately 12 miles west of Marble Canyon.
Due to the remote location and low traffic volumes, there have little to
no delays in this area.
“We have now moved into Phase Two of the recovery efforts following the
House Rock Flood,” said ADOT Flagstaff District Engineer Audra Merrick.
“Crews worked tirelessly last week to open inlets to protect the roadway
from future rainfall and our engineers have completed their assessment
for possible damages. Fortunately, there were no major damages to the
infrastructure, but we have identified significant repairs that need to
be completed before we fully reopen the highway.”
Prior to re-establishing two lanes of traffic at this location, ADOT
will repair three box culvert structures and drainage channels that
allow flood waters to safely pass underneath the roadway and perform
additional roadway/pavement work.
ADOT is currently pursuing a contractor to work on the repairs. As of August 17, there is no estimate for when the repairs will be completed.