On March 21, 2008 a landslide caused the closure of Arizona State Route 87 between Payson and Phoenix near mile post 224. So far there are no official estimates as to the size, but based on aerial photos, it appears to be at least 50,000 sq-ft in plan. The offset at the head scarps was approximately 2-meters (6.6-ft) according to AZGS Geologists on site. It appears to have been a rotational slide as the toe of the landslide heaved the southbound roadway up by as much as 1-meter (3.3 ft). There was an existing soil-nail retaining wall on the slope that was destroyed by the slide as well. Lateral deformations can be seen in photos of the median barrier and the roadway striping. The deformations extended into the northbound lanes as well. More photos and links after the break. (Photo by ADOT)
The Chilliwack Times reports that the City of Chilliwack will pay 80% of the assessed home value for up to 42 homes in an Eastern Hillside subdivision that are located on a slow moving landslide. The issue was first noticed in 2001 and several homes have had significant damage, but most are currently undamaged. The City denies any responsibility, but it’s legal counsel recommended a settlement. (Photo by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times)
Normally the geotechnical engineer for the subdivision would be held accountable. But apparently the slip surface is located 30-m below grade, much deeper than borings for a typical investigation for a subdivision. I wonder if there were any geologists consulted? Click through for a Google map view of the area and you can do your own armchair photogeology quarterbacking! Your heart does go out to the people losing their homes, they had no idea. But it could be worse, they could be in La Jolla and be getting squat.
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