Landslide buries Utah road under 100 feet of dirt

By the Associated Press | October 12, 2011 | 1:35 PM EDT

In this photo dated Saturday Oct. 8,2011 released by the Utah Department of Transportation showing a road worker walking along destroyed state Route 14, a scenic road east of Cedar City in southwestern Utah often used by tourists traveling to Bryce Canyon National Park. Utah transportation officials have closed the state highway east of Cedar City after a massive landslide buried part of the roadway in about 100 feet of dirt and rock. (AP Photo/Utah Department of Transportation)

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) — A massive landslide in southern Utah has closed a state highway that serves as a primary mountain crossing for residents and tourists.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Kitchen says the landslide destroyed about a quarter-mile of state Route 14 eight miles east of Cedar City over the weekend.

Kitchen says the landslide is about 1,700 feet in length and contains roughly 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt, rock and debris.

He says about 12 miles of the highway will be closed for a few months. There is no cost estimate for the repairs.

Kitchen says landslides have previously damaged the highway in that area.

Route 14 is used to by people traveling to places such as Bryce Canyon National Park and ranchers with cattle on range land.