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Mudslide causes extended closure of US 60 near Superior/Miami

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Posted at 7:58 AM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 20:10:48-04

*Update: ADOT says the U.S. 60 has reopened in this area*

Flooding and debris from storm runoff on Wednesday closed a 17.5-mile stretch of U.S. 60 between Superior and Miami in east-central Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said there was no estimated reopening time. U.S. 60 is a major route between metro Phoenix and eastern Arizona’s high country.

The closure is between mileposts 226 at State Route 177 in Superior and milepost 243 at the west side of Miami, with motorists detoured onto SR 77 and SR 177 through Winkelman.

The roughly 70-mile detour includes a 10 percent grade and will significantly increase travel time.

The highway segment was closed as numerous storm cells paraded across the region, prompting the National Weather Service to issue flood advisories in areas near Casa Grande, Fountain Hills, Maricopa, Apache Junction and Coolidge.

The weather service urged that people “be aware that areas of flooding may cause significant inconvenience. Use extreme caution on roads. Do not walk or drive through flooded streets or around barricades.”

The portion of the highway that is being repaired is the same area hit by flash-flooding nearly two weeks ago in Miami. It also swept in a build-up of mud and debris.

“With more storms moving in, there is the potential for damage in other highways next to burn scars. So, it's important for drivers to think about where they're traveling,” says Garin Groff, with ADOT.

Video from the area showed guardrails impacted by the mudslide, pulled away from the side of the roadway.

ADOT maintenance crews are planning 24-hour operations to repair the roadway at the Bloody Tanks Wash, which is about one mile west of the closure in Miami.

The repair will require an estimated 300 truckloads of boulders to shore up the highway so it can safely reopen to traffic.