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Summertime heat could cause pavement blow-ups


This week, Missourians are feeling the full effect of summer heat and so are the roads drivers travel on.

And those high temperatures are expected to carry into next week, with highs approaching the triple digits by Tuesday. Which means the likeliness of road blow ups could increase, according to MODOT.

"There could be an uptick in pavement blows ups. Usually a prolonged period of heat when it gets up to 100 degrees for several days and the temperatures at night doesn't get down the way they should.... yeah we get an up-tick of pavement blow ups", said Bobby Slater who works at MODOT.

A blow-up appeared Thursday on a heavily traveled Mid-Missouri road -- Highway 63 near the Columbia Regional Airport. Crews were sent out to fix the problem.

"They're impossible to forecast so we never know where it's going to happen at… it always happens in concrete pavement", said Slater.

AccuWeather reports pavement blow-ups happen when the road surface expands at a crack or joint where moisture has oozed in. This happens when weather reaches 90 degrees or hotter, which can cause pavement to buckle or warp.

So far, no Boone County roads have seen buckling, said Greg Edington with Boone County Road and Bridge. But he said they could if the high temperatures continue.

Eric Landwehr with Cole County Public Works said Friday that the department is on the lookout for blow-ups. "We do have certain roads that tend to do it often and we have been watching them," he wrote in an email.

MODOT also warns drivers that road buckles could create a big safety hazard especially if people aren't paying attention to the roads. Landwehr says drivers should be more cautious when traveling on state highways because you could run into a pavement blow up.

"The main thing is these things can happen in the blank of an eye and we can't always be there to fix them right away when they happen, so if the public can let us know when they see something. Just call us and we'll come out and fix it as soon as we can", said Landwehr.

Article Topic Follows: Transportation

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Kennedy Miller


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