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DOT: Hot weather could cause buckling pavement this weekend

Temperatures across Wisconsin are expected to rise above 90 degrees in the next several days in...
Temperatures across Wisconsin are expected to rise above 90 degrees in the next several days in the state, and the heat could cause pavement on roadways to buckle.((Source: WTVM))
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:00 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - Temperatures across Wisconsin are expected to rise above 90 degrees in the next several days in the state, and the heat could cause pavement on roadways to buckle, according to the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT).

Buckling pavement shut down one lane of Highway 53 in Eau Claire Co. Thursday afternoon, where the temperatures reached the upper 80′s. It is the first report of buckling pavement in the northwest region of the Wisconsin DOT for 2021.

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, warm 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 last full year that data is available.

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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