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Updated Feb 22, 2013 - 5:00 am

Page sinkhole causes worries ahead of tourist season

PHOENIX — City leaders and business owners in Page, Ariz. held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss what type of impact a massive sinkhole on US 89 will have on the local economy.

“Tourism is huge here,” said Robin Crowther with the City of Page. “They are really concerned since tourism season kicks off about March 1,” said Crowther.

The total area involves approximately 500 feet of damaged pavement, but it appears the settlement could be bigger. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there is significant cracking in the soil down the slope.

“This is probably a 500 to 700 foot section that we are going to have to take a good look at,” said Samour.

Currently, geologists are assessing the situation and trying to figure out what exactly happened to the earth. Without an exact cause, it is impossible to develop a plan for a long-term fix.

“We want to remind tourists that we are open and ready to take care of them,” said Crowther.

According to the ADOT, US 89 is closed northbound at US 89A. In Page, US 89 is closed at the junction with State Route 98. The US 89 will remain closed for an unspecified amount of time.

In the meantime, traffic is detouring around the closure by using U.S. 160 and
State Route 98. That adds 45 miles of driving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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