PAGE, Ariz. -- The Department of Transportation now says it was a landslide that wiped out part of Highway 89 about 25 miles south of Page last week.
Wednesday's landslide caused a 150-foot section of pavement to buckle, cutting off the main link in and out of Page and Lake Powell.
A 23-mile-long stretch of U.S. 89 (mileposts 523-546) is currently closed between the U.S. 89A junction near Bitter Springs to the state Route 98 junction near Page.
Alternate routes include traveling east for 50 miles on U.S. 160 to State Route 98 and northwest on SR 98 for 65 miles to Page. The detour adds an additional 45 miles over the direct route.
Motorists also have the option to take northbound U.S. 89A through Marble Canyon toward Fredonia to reconnect to U.S. 89 in southern Utah. Motorists can reach Page using this route by traveling north to U.S. 89 in Kanab, Utah, and southbound on U.S. 89. It's an additional 80 miles longer than the direct route.
Drivers traveling from Utah to Phoenix can also consider taking Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas before connecting to southbound U.S. 93 in Arizona to U.S. 60 into the Phoenix area.
ADOT is also urging all commercial truck traffic to use one of the proposed alternate routes on state highways and avoid traveling on any local roads.
There is no timetable to reopen the highway, which has approximately 500 feet of damage, including the 150 feet of pavement that buckled 4 to 6 feet due to a landslide and failure of the slope.
The highway is built in rugged terrain so engineers will have to take a look at the whole hillside in order to plan a long-term fix.
There were two separate collisions involving minor injuries caused by the road buckling.
For up-to-date information on the U.S. 89 closure, visit www.azdot.gov/us89.
For the latest highway conditions across Arizona, visit ADOT's Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1.