I-10 in West Phoenix open after Mudslide forced closure

08/24/12 - After hours of clean-up, ADOT re-opened the roads and exit ramps that were closed most of the day after two days of mudslides that spilled into the freeway at Interstate10 and 79th Avenue in Phoenix.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel explained that the problem started on private property where a retention basin barrier failed.

"There is no doubt that this is a case of the strength of mother nature," he said. "So much rain fell in such a short period of time."

PetSmart owns the retention basin that helps draw water away from its distribution center. With the heavy rain, a portion of the dirt barrier weakened causing water to flood down the hillside into the roadway. The rushing water eroded the hill and several inches of mud washed on to the freeway.

Some ramps had to be closed and traffic was reduced by a couple of lanes for most of the day.

Engineers working for PetSmart spent the day working to reinforce the barrier to prevent more damage in case of more rain.

"It is important the company do something to make this much stronger," said Nintzel. "Maybe use concrete to line the side of the retention basin."

PetSmart representatives were not available to talk with us about the work they were doing at the location.
It is unclear whether the company could be held financially responsible for the damage to state property.