ADOT begins repairs along US 89A following House Rock Flood

Box culvert damage from the mudslide on Highway 89-A west of Marble Canyon near milepost 551, Coconino County, Arizona, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz. The Arizona Department of Transportation has been working to reopen Highway 89-A after heavy rainfall on Aug. 9 washed mud and boulders across the highway between Marble Canyon and Jacob’s Lake.

The House Rock Flood was caused by approximately 1.5 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.


READ MORE‘Boulders the size of houses’; 34-mile road closure continues on Highway 89-A


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, according to ADOT.

Currently, less than one-half mile of US 89-A 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 been little delays in this area.

Excavator clearing the debris near a box culvert from the mudslide on Highway 89-A west of Marble Canyon near milepost 550, Coconino County, Arizona, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News
Excavator clearing the debris near a box culvert from the mudslide on Highway 89-A west of Marble Canyon near milepost 550, Coconino County, Arizona, Aug. 9, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation, St. George News

“We have now moved into Phase Two of the recovery efforts following the House Rock Flood,” Audra Merrick, ADOT Flagstaff District Engineer said.

“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,” Merrick said. “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. At this time, there is no estimate for when the repairs will be completed.

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