Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Highway US89 collapse south of Page, Arizona

The Arizona Dept. of Transportation is reporting that a section of US 89 buckled this morning. The road is closed between US 89A and Page, Arizona.

ADOT tweeted the news and photo at

ADOT is attributing the collapse to a "geologic event" rather than weather related.

Brian Gootee in our Phoenix branch suggests this may be related to a landslide in the underlying Chinle Fm.

 First report of the event was at 5:09 am this morning. The location is  south of Page, north of Bitter Springs at milepost 526.5 on HY 89.

The Public Safety office in Flagstaff tells us the cracks continue to grow.

Update, 9:40am:  The Navajo Nation Facebook page has another view -


  1. Thank You for your excellent coverage of this event. You have better information than anyone else. Geology In Action!

  2. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Yes, probably a Chinle failure.
    It plays havoc with roads in that area.
    Even my non-geologist wife thought that.

  3. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Chinle had nothing to do wit dis. Its on the udder side of the rez.

  4. The Chinle Formation is the name of the geologic unit in which the slide occurred. While the town of Chinle is across the Reservation, the geologic unit is extensive across the whole region.

  5. Anonymous5:25 PM

    People are so mean cant we all just have frybread???

  6. Anonymous6:36 PM

    this mountain does not the road on its shoulder.

  7. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Was due from the meteor that pass.

  8. I asked some co-workers here at ADWR and they said:

    The road was built on top of a land slide area just like SR 87 which had a major slide event about five years ago. Just like SR 87, US 89, experienced a land slide underneath the road.

    The underlying petrified forest member of the Chinle formation is pretty weak, and rotational-type landslides are common along these cliffs.

    1. Anonymous2:23 PM

      Thanks. Glad somebody out there with some brains.

  9. I have a view that makes things clearer. Check out this photo that I took:

    The right side of the collapse is the curved line. The left side is at the other end of the formation. You'll note how this lines up with the formation above where I suspect it used to be located.

    Part of the road is still attached to that formation. Speaking out of total ignorance, I think what happened is that the formation slipped just a little, causing the tallus collapse below.

  10. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Is the road slide past Bitter Springs, therefore leaving the road to Kanab open via Flagesaff? I plan on going to Kanab and that is the shorter route.

  11. We posted alternate routes on Google Maps,-111.610107&spn=8.800006,13.392334

    The road from Flagstaff to US89A is open through Bitter Springs. You just can't take US89 up the mountain to Page.

  12. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Thanks Lee that is very helpfull.