Jackson, Wyo. — A significant portion of Teton Pass road in Wyoming collapsed on Saturday, creating a large gap in the highway and disrupting a heavily used commuter route connecting small towns in eastern Idaho to the tourist destination of Jackson.

Aerial photos and drone footage of the collapse reveal deep cracks running through the Teton Pass road, with a large section of pavement completely gone. A portion of the guardrail hangs over the void, and orange traffic cones mark the hazardous area. The road was closed at the time of the collapse.

The section that failed initially drew attention on Thursday when a crack and drop in the road contributed to a motorcycle crash.

Geologists and engineers dispatched to the area that day noticed “that crack and that drop started to move a lot,” according to Stephanie Harsha, a spokesperson for District 3 of the Wyoming Department of Transportation. A paving crew temporarily repaired the road, and traffic resumed that night.

However, this was short-lived as maintenance crews were sent to address a mudslide a few miles away in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, leading to the road being closed again.

Crews then observed that the damage to the pavement had become more pronounced. Workers attempting to determine a detour around the affected section left for the night, “and by 5 a.m., this morning, WYDOT had discovered that the road had completely failed,” Harsha said on Saturday.

“We were very, very lucky that no crews were harmed. No equipment was damaged,” she said. “So now, engineers and geologists are doing geological assessments on the pass. They’ve been looking at it all day.”

The transportation department announced on social media that the road “catastrophically failed” at milepost 12.8.

It remains uncertain how long it will take to reopen the road, a critical route for individuals living across the border in Idaho and working in expensive Jackson, which is also close to the popular Grand Teton National Park.

Harsha mentioned that an alternate route between Jackson and the Victor, Idaho, area adds more than 60 miles (97 kilometers) to the journey and “quite a bit to any commute.”

Gov. Mark Gordon issued an executive order declaring an emergency, which his office stated would assist the state in accessing additional resources from the Federal Highway Administration to initiate repair efforts.

In a statement, the governor said the transportation department is working on “a long-term solution to rebuild this critical roadway.”

“I recognize the significant impacts this closure has to Teton County residents, regional commuters and the local economy,” Gordon said.