Heat wave causing concrete to buckle on roads and sidewalks - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Heat wave causing concrete to buckle on roads and sidewalks

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The Midwest heat wave is causing headaches for the Department of Transportation, as roads around the area are giving way.

Not only does this heat have an effect on people but the streets and pavement can only take so much. A curb at 33rd Street and Dakota Avenue in Sioux Falls buckled from the heat Tuesday afternoon. The DOT says these buckle problems can strike any patch of concrete at anytime.

For many Interstate-29 travelers, Monday's trip had an unexpected bump that led to flat tires and delays. A section of the roadway buckled under the heat. An unpredictable occurrence, but not a rare one for our area.

"It all depends on how hot it gets, quite often we see them in late July and August but yesterday and today temperatures are in the low 90's, it's not uncommon to see that." Said Greg Aalberg. 

Aalberg is the engineering supervisor for the South Dakota Department of Transportation and says there's not much you can do to prevent buckling.

Aalberg says all concrete has the potential to buckle, sometimes it's streets others it's sidewalks or medians. When the temperatures rise it forces the concrete to expand and in most cases the only place it can go is up.

like the old adage, something's gotta give, and when it does Aalberg's team is ready to roll.

"We get some asphalt in there for a temporary fix and then come back later and saw it all out and replace it with new concrete." Said Aalberg.

Unfortunately for Monday's travelers, they're responsible for covering the damage to their vehicles. So when you're out driving this summer, whether it be on the interstate or just around the block, remember these buckling buggers can strike at anytime.

"You can go through a day where it can get to 90 degrees and you may not have a blow up it's just an unknown thing and we try and be as prepared as we can so that if it does happen we can respond." Said Aalberg.

One of the DOT's repair trucks was hit by a car while they were trying to patch the I-29 buckle. So it's just another reminder to slow down when crews are on the roads.

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