I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT seeks $2 million in federal emergency funding following US 89A flooding

ADOT seeks $2 million in federal emergency funding following US 89A flooding

October 13, 2015

PHOENIX – Following the House Rock Flood event that temporarily closed US 89A west of Marble Canyon on Aug. 9, Governor Doug Ducey recently issued a Declaration of Emergency that will allow the Arizona Department of Transportation to seek approximately $2 million in federal emergency funding to cover the initial costs to reopen the highway and the long-term repairs to restore the highway to its original condition.

The Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program reimburses state and local agencies for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads and bridges that are damaged in natural disasters and catastrophic failures. ADOT previously took advantage of this federal emergency relief funding to complete the repairs that were needed to restore US 89 south of Page following a devastating 2013 landslide. That roadway was reopened to motorists in March 2015.

“Arizona taxpayers benefit from the FHWA’s emergency relief program because we do not have to tap into state funds,” said ADOT State Engineer Dallas Hammit. “This funding will allow us to continue to move forward with the repairs to restore the highway to its original condition.”

On Aug. 9, approximately 1.5 inches of rain fell in less than 20 minutes in the region of US 89A, according to the National Weather Service, resulting in severe flooding at several locations along US 89A between mileposts 531-532 and 540-555. US 89A was closed for approximately 24 hours until ADOT maintenance crews could clear away mud and debris that collected on the roadway and in box culverts underneath the roadway.

The crews, aided by heavy equipment including an excavator and road graders, removed some boulders that were as large as 15 feet in diameter that were carried by floodwater approximately two miles from the Vermillion Cliffs.

Currently, less than one-half mile of US 89A 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 to no delays in this area.

Prior to re-establishing two lanes of traffic at this location, ADOT needs to perform additional pavement repairs and fix three box culvert structures and drainage channels that allow floodwater to safely pass under the roadway.

The long-term repairs, which started Sept. 21, are expected to be finished by the end of November.

For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at az511.gov, follow us on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 5-1-1.

View photos from the Aug. 9 House Rock Flood event on ADOT’s Flickr page.