MnDOT Warns Of Buckling Pavement With Extreme Heat This Week
The Minnesota Department Of Transportation is warning motorists to be on the lookout for buckling pavement on Minnesota Highways this week. Temperatures are expected to be between 90 and 100 degrees today across the state. Over the weekend there already have been some areas where roads have had to be closed because of the pavement heaving up. Wisconsin DOT also warned about pavement buckling recently.
A co-worker of ours was driving North on Interstate 35 on Sunday, June 19th when they had to make a detour because of the road being closed. A section of the Northbound I-35 lanes buckled north of North Branch. MnDOT had the road closed off for motorists. In some cases though, you could encounter buckled pavement before authorities are aware of it.
Why Do Pavements Buckle?
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, pavement buckles can happen when temperatures change from moderate to extreme heat. They design the roads into segments that are cut to allow expansion of the pavement, but sometimes it isn't enough. It typically happens on older concrete segments of roads. Blacktop is a little more flexible and usually doesn't buckle.
The sun heats the pavement and the pavement then expands. If it has nowhere to expand to, it buckles.
What to do if you see a buckle?
You should call 911 immediately and report it, as it could cause an accident. Try to avoid driving over the buckle, slow down and move into another lane safely.
Here's an example of a pavement buckle from MnDOT. You can learn more on their website about buckles.