More concrete blowouts cause problems on Beltline

Numerous cars damaged from debris
More concrete blowouts cause problems on Beltline

Cars were directed away from the center lane of the eastbound Beltline east of Stoughton Road Tuesday morning after more concrete has blown out from the pavement.

Police said numerous cars were damaged in the latest incident.

With the cold weather causing problems on the Beltline, Dane County crews will be monitoring the area more closely this winter.

Officials said the concrete blows out when water gets into the cracks around the patches in the pavement and starts to freeze and thaw. That causes the patch to move around and loosen. As cars drive over the patch, it can come loose and pop out of the pavement.

John Steiner of the Department of Transportation said the problems are happening mostly on the Beltline, where about 8,000 patches were put in for a road improvement project a few years ago.

“They work very well except for these situations when we get freeze, thaw and some of them start popping out,” he said. “It’s a very small percentage, like 1 percent of these have popped out, but it only takes one of them out of that 8,000 to create a big problem.”

Steiner said the popouts can damage cars if drivers go over the pieces.

“Some of the cars have already received flat tires from these,” he said. “When they pop out, they’re very jagged. So they’re very sharp or they’re large enough that if a tire hits it, it may break the seal along the seam of the tire along the side and get an instant flat as they go through them.”

Any driver who spots a patch starting to rise out of the pavement or who sees a piece in the road should call Dane County’s non-emergency number at 608-255-2345.