The Arizona Department of Transportation has released some pretty incredible video footage highlighting a section of US 89 that was decimated by an as-yet-unexplained geological event on last Wednesday. ADOT officials report that this dramatic earth movement has affected roughly 500 feet of roadway, with the cracking in the slope below possible as large as 700 feet.

Images of the broken section of highway are impressive, to say the least. The highway has seemed to split right down the middle in some places, with man-sized chunks of asphalt forced up in buckled sections, falling away into sheer drops in others. One report indicates that there were two vehicles on the highway at the time of the incident (around 5:00 AM local time), with one woman suffering minor injuries.

Drivers that make regular use of this stretch of US 89 near southern Utah will have to start planning for some extra time on the road. The detour around the broken highway is some 45 miles long, reports ADOT. Officials are still moving forward with an assessment of the site, and a geotechnical investigation is getting underway as well. There is no current timeline for completion of the highway repairs.

Scroll below to see the official ADOT video, as well as a few local news reports on the highway buckle.







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  • 41 Comments
      Stang70Fastback
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't understand what's wrong. It looks exactly how my iPhone says it should look...
      mystro1v
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think we all know what's really going on here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremors_(film)
      spinftwin
      • 1 Year Ago
      If only this were in Russia, we would have more great "end of the world" footage...
      EB110Americana
      • 1 Year Ago
      You see? This is what happens when you drive and talk on your cell phone!
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Arizona wants to save a big chunk of money dealing with repairing this section of Highway 89, then the Arizona Highway Department should plan on moving that section of the highway to a more geologically stable route. As "SloopJohnB" correctly states below, this section of Highway 89.seems to be geologically similar to a section of California's Highway 1, south of San Francisco, called "Devil's Slide"; after decades of efforts by Caltrans and millions of dollars on futile repairs, that section of highway has been rerouted to bypass the unstable land. The "Teachable Moment" here is that if Caltrans went with the bypass plan 20 years ago when it was first suggested, tax payers here could have saved well over a billion dollars in labor costs, materials costs, lost tax income, lost business productivity, and general inflationary costs. I suppose Arizona can just "cross their fingers" and hope a simple patch will last. However, if I used that road on a regular basis, I would plan on taking a detour for a few weeks around that section every time it rained hard there and would not be shocked to hear that section of Highway 89 collapsed again, since realistically it can't be "repaired".
      luigi.tony
      • 1 Year Ago
      The road saw a Veloster Turbo approaching and committed suicide to prevent the ugly car from passing over.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      So where are they going to find the funds to repair it?
        Jonathan Arena
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I think this is worth spending public funds on...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
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          • 1 Year Ago
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          • 1 Year Ago
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          Lab Rat
          • 1 Year Ago
          You do realize the Sequester was a Republican idea, right?
        jabaileydc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Brewer will dump the problem in the Federal Government's lap and tell them to figure it out! She'll probably blame immigration for the problem.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Lab Rat
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'm pretty sure that US89 was placed here during the Eisenhower or Kennedy administration.
      antacid
      • 1 Year Ago
      Japan fixed almost the exact same thing in 6 days, lets see how long it takes a construction union http://www.locksleynet.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/road-destroyed-rebuilt-japan-tsunami-earthquake-2011.jpg
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 1 Year Ago
        @antacid
        I am going to toss my hat and bet in the ring for 8 months, which will turn into 13 months naturally.
          Scott
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jonathan Wayne
          Don't forget the 3x cost overruns.
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @antacid
        Your anti-union attitude is amusing, but consider that road projects (here in America) are often held up by FUNDING issues as much as anything else. Also note that this Japanese road was ON THE ROUTE to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and was critical for travel at the time. Also note that the private company tasked with the repair (Nexco East) operates toll roads (so it's expensive to take these roads) and also has union workers. They've also had some notable errors, including a tunnel collapse.
        Sean Conrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @antacid
        OMG you're right, it's totally the union's fault!!!!!!
        Michael
        • 1 Year Ago
        @antacid
        It's one thing to repair a fracture caused by a single event, it's another thing to rebuild the road when the hillslide is slowly slipping away during heavy rains. The repair itself is quick. Reinforcing the soil so that this won't happen again is not quick.
      gop.hates.america
      • 1 Year Ago
      @antacid \"Japan fixed almost the exact same thing in 6 days, lets see how long it takes a construction union\" 6 years and 6 days 6 years for the communist republicans to approve the funds and 6 days to fix it.
      gop.hates.america
      • 1 Year Ago
      @autoblogfail Yes, go ahead and say it. This geological event was caused by Obama\'s liberal policies. You are so smart. Let me guess - you teach economics at the College for Dimwit Conservatives.
        Gubbins
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Your head is so far up Obama's fundament you need a snorkel to breathe.
        canuckcharlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        ^ drama queen
        Rick Hamilton
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Maybe we can throw a couple of trillion at it, and raise taxes, I will bet that if we had gun control in action this would not have happened.
      bouljf
      • 1 Year Ago
      The guy’s understated comments in the first video are hilarious. “The road has essentially failed to the point where we cannot allow motorists to use it anymore” Yeah I’d say so.
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