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.