DOT warns of high risk of pavement buckling

Wisconsin's heat wave to continue through Friday
DOT warns of high risk of pavement buckling

State transportation officials are warning motorists to watch out for buckling roads as the heat wave drags on.

According to the National Weather Service, highs are expected in the 90s in the northern part of Wisconsin Thursday, with the southern part of the state possibly reaching up to 106.

An excessive heat warning was issued for much of central, southern and western Wisconsin through 10 p.m. Friday. A heat advisory is in effect for northern Wisconsin through 10 p.m. Thursday.

The Department of Transportation said the risk of buckling pavement will be high Thursday and Friday.

During hot weather, pavement tends to expand. Where there are expansion joints, the slabs of pavement push against each other and if the pressure becomes high enough the pavement may buckle.

The agency said it received reports of 17 pavement buckles on major highways on July 4th alone. Workers were able to make repairs in an average of two to three hours.

Dan Behrend, of the Dane County Highway Department, said crews responded to and repaired more than a dozen incidents. 

On Thursday evening, crews were working on pavement blowups on the Beltline near Greenway Station and Old Sauk Road, Highway 151 near Sun Prairie and Highway 12 near Wisconsin Dells.

“We are continuing to monitor the major highways and are coordinating with county highway maintenance crews in case of more buckling today and tomorrow,” said Rory Rhinesmith, of the DOT. “However, pavement bucklings typically are quite random and motorists need to be prepared.”

The Department of Transportation said people should report pavement buckling by calling 911.