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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

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4/16/2013 10:08:00 AM
ADOT's geotechnical investigation at U.S. 89 landslide enters final stage
A landslide buckled pavement and closed U.S. 89 north of Bitter Springs and south of Page Feb. 20. Photo/ADOT
A landslide buckled pavement and closed U.S. 89 north of Bitter Springs and south of Page Feb. 20. Photo/ADOT
Navajo-Hopi Observer


PHOENIX - Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) crews began the final step to complete ADOT's geotechnical investigation that will ultimately uncover the best long-term solution to restore landslide damaged U.S. 89.

ADOT crews will cut a pathway down to the base of the mountain slope. The agency expects the work to take at least two weeks.

The access path will allow geotechnical engineers to dig pits, approximately 20-40 feet long and 10-15 feet deep, which will provide critical information regarding any movement that may be present at the base of the slide.

The excavation work is necessary because it will lead to recommendations by the geotechnical team on what options are available within the site to realign the roadway or rebuild the existing roadway.

"This is the final piece of the puzzle we'll need to wrap up this geotechnical investigation," said Steve Boschen, ADOT deputy state engineer of design. "Prior to this, our drilling crews were only able to access this area via helicopters.

"ADOT's goal is to repair this critical section of highway and restore connectivity throughout the region as soon as possible. But before we can start the repairs, we need to determine the cause of the landslide and assess the safety of the slope."

ADOT's geotechnical investigation at the U.S. 89 landslide site is the first phase of the solution. Crews are monitoring the stability of the slope. The ultimate repair of the highway will be based on the results of the geotechnical investigation.


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