On February 20, 2013, a part of I-89 south of Page, Arizona, was cracked open in a region ironically known as "The Big Cut." It shut down that portion of the road and forced motorists to make a 45-mile detour to get to their destination. Today, almost a month later, the road is still closed and likely will be for a long time to come. These news must be spread to all visitors to the area as they should plan for at least a one-hour delay in their travels.
Check out the detour map and photos of the Big Cut on the Arizona Department of Transportation website. Motorists from Page, AZ, going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon or to Flagstaff, AZ, must now take AZ-98 to the I-160 to Tuba City before arriving back at a safe section of the I-89. The section of the road to Horseshoe Bend, a tourist draw to the area, is open, while the next 18 miles on I-89 toward the Big Cut are authorized for local travel only.
During the winter months, an average of 5000 cars travel the now broken section of the road, but that number increases as the weather gets warmer and the tourist season opens. Undoubtedly some unlucky visitors will be surprised to find out that the road between Page and Bitter Springs is closed, as there are no warning signs on the highways before getting to the detoured sections. This is the reason it is extremely important to spread the word to anyone heading in that direction.
It has been recently decided that the development of the crack was due to a landslide. Governor Jan Brewer declared this as a state of emergency and the Federal Highway Administration authorized $2 million for the evaluation of the route before construction can begin on it, should it be deemed safe to do so.