The buckled pavement on U.S. Route 89 outside of Page, which was shown in almost-unbelievable photos released on Wendesday, was likely caused by a landslide.
Aside from the highway just looking dangerous, one of the Arizona Department of Transportation's engineers says the guardrail to the side of this pavement "drops off a couple hundred feet."
-Section of Route 89 Closed; It Looks Like Godzilla Stepped on It
It wasn't immediately clear how that happened on Wednesday morning, but an ADOT spokesman clarified that it wasn't weather-related -- as there was snow and "graupel" falling all over the state -- and said that it appeared to be caused by a "geologic event."
The state geologist's blog -- yes, there's a state geologist, and yes, he has a blog -- has pretty much insisted it was caused by a landslide from the get-go. ADOT spokesman Dustin Krugel tells New Times that the state engineer's office agrees with that assessment.
A video produced by ADOT (found below) will probably give you a better idea of what the pavement looks like than the pictures, and how easily this could've led to some serious injuries:
ADOT says there's no timetable to reopen the highway, but the pathway to eventually getting it fixed has already begun.
More landslide-related information from the state geologist can be found here, and more photos of the highway, from ADOT, can be found here.