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Wis. DOT warns that hot weather this weekend may cause buckling pavement

The DOT says that pavement buckles when road temperatures quickly go from being cool to hot.
The DOT says that pavement buckles when road temperatures quickly go from being cool to hot.(WBAY)
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 10:32 AM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 10:34 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - Rising temperatures this weekend across Wisconsin are a reminder that heat could cause pavement on roadways to buckle, according to the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT).

Weather forecasts for the upcoming weekend indicate that temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-80′s across most of Wisconsin, with parts of southern and western Wisconsin potentially topping 90-degrees on Saturday.

The DOT says that pavement buckles when road temperatures quickly go from being cool to hot. According to the DOT, slabs of pavement will expand and push against other slabs, and when the pressure is high enough, causes the pavement to break down and create bumps or dips, or even burst if the pressure is high enough.

Because it is difficult to predict when or where pavement will buckle, the DOT offers these tips for motorists:

  • Slow down, buckle up and focus your full attention on the roadway.
  • Watch for slowing traffic and be ready to move over for all roadside workers, including highway crews as they repair damaged pavement.
  • Before your trip, check the 511 Travel Information system (511wi.gov) for the latest on any incidents or delays.
  • If necessary, report serious pavement issues by calling 911. Be ready to provide specific location information.

While buckling pavement is most common in summer months, summer-like temperatures this weekend increases the risk for pavement buckling, according to the DOT. The DOT reported 73 instances of pavement buckling statewide in 2018.

The DOT is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for highway repair crews and pavement buckling, and to slow down and move over for roadside workers.

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