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ADOT Press Release regarding storm damage and emergency repairs being made on SR 89A in Oak Creek Canyon

State Route 89A in-between Sedona and Flagstaff has sustained extensive weather damage

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 -

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Department of



For Immediate Release: Jan. 26, 2010

Contact: ADOT Media Relations

ADOT Media Line: 1.800.949.8057

ADOT responds to storm damage along SR 89A in Oak Creek Canyon

Highway closed until emergency repairs can be made

SEDONA – The forces of Mother Nature made themselves known along a number of Arizona highways during and after last week’s powerful winter storms. A section of one damaged highway, State Route 89A connecting Sedona and Flagstaff, remains closed until emergency repairs can be made.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is working to speed repairs along SR 89A at the bottom of the switchbacks of Oak Creek Canyon, where storm runoff caused damage. The highway is unsafe for travel until the repairs can be made, and may be closed for up to two weeks.

ADOT’s engineers have assessed the area and have determined that rushing water flowed down the mountains and across the roadway, washing away the soil beneath a portion of the SR 89A pavement, creating a gap underneath the roadway. The water also eroded part of the slope next to the highway. ADOT is working to repair the pavement and fill in the retaining wall—work that is expected to take several days.

SR 89A is closed in both directions along an approximately 10-mile stretch. Drivers who normally use the highway to commute between Sedona and Flagstaff must now use Interstate 17 and State Route 179.

ADOT is working with the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona, as well as Coconino County and the Arizona Department of Public Safety to get the message out to both residents and travelers.

"We want to reopen the highway as soon as possible," said John Harper, district engineer for ADOT’s Flagstaff District. "Our primary responsibility is to keep people as safe as possible when damage like this occurs. We want to emphasize that no one should drive around the barricades and try to travel on the damaged roadway. This is a major safety risk."

The status of the SR 89A closure is listed along with other information about highway conditions around Arizona on ADOT’s Travel Information site at

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NOTE to editors and producers: B-roll of the damaged roadway is being distributed to Metro Phoenix newsrooms this afternoon. To specifically request footage, or an interview, please call the ADOT media line at 800-949-8057.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.