Wednesday, March 06, 2013

ADOT estimates $35 million to repair landslide damage to US 89

 ADOT issued an announcement yesterday that the initial estimate is $35 million to 'repair' US 89 from the February 20 Bitter Springs landslide [photo credit ADOT].  They did not elaborate on what the preliminary repair plans entail:

The Arizona Department of Transportation has been granted $2 million in immediate federal aid that can be used to continue investigating the cause of a landslide on a stretch of US 89 last month south of Page.

Following Governor Jan Brewer’s Declaration of Emergency last week, ADOT asked the Federal Highway Administration for the quick release of emergency relief funds and submitted an initial estimate to complete repairs of $35 million. This estimate may change as further information about the landslide is gathered by engineers.

The quick release funds will be used to assess the damage and the stability of the mountain slope, and conduct emergency operations.

The Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program reimburses state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures.

“Our budget for emergencies is very limited, and local governments have even greater financial constraints with limited cash available to fund emergencies,” said Jennifer Toth, ADOT deputy director for transportation. “This initial allocation serves as a down payment on the overall emergency relief needs for US 89. It will offset the cost for the geotechnical investigation of the landslide area to determine short- and long-term options.”

ADOT is currently conducting a geological investigation to determine the stability of the mountain slope in the Echo Cliffs. The agency is also performing damage assessments in the area and a more accurate estimate will be available in the future.

US 89 is currently closed between the US 89A junction near Bitter Springs to the State Route 98 junction near Page (mileposts 523-546). The highway has approximately 500 feet of damage, including 150 feet of pavement that settled four to six feet, due to a landslide and failure of the slope during the early morning hours on Feb. 20.

While US 89 remains closed indefinitely, the primary detour route is to take US 160 to SR 98 toward Page. Drivers also have the option to take US 89A north to Marble Canyon toward Fredonia to reconnect to US 89 in Kanab, Utah.

For up-to-date information on the US 89 closure, please visit

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