The hot weather could be bad news for roads

8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago July 11, 2016 Jul 11, 2016 Monday, July 11 2016 Monday, July 11, 2016 2:13:00 PM CDT in News
By: Allison Ross, KOMU 8 News
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COLUMBIA- Hot weather leads to buckling roads and emergency repairs.

This morning the quiet street of Steeplechase Drive was woken up by construction crews ripping up their road. Because of the intense heat, their road began to buckle.

Barry Dalton, public information officer public works department for Columbia said buckling roads is common in Missouri and the United States when it gets hot out.

"If there's a weakness in the pavement that you can either see or you can't see, maybe there is a crack, or maybe the pavement is built with a joint in it and in the hot weather. If heat gets under there or moisture gets under there it can cause what's called a heat buckle and that can happen pretty rapidly," Dalton said. 

Dalton said these bumps in the road can turn into big problems for cars and pedestrians.

"City streets and buckles and potholes, they are like snowflakes, they are not all the same. Some can be big and some can damage cars, some can, you know non-motorized transportation users: bicyclist can get hurt in them. That is why we take them very seriously. We do as much street preventive maintenance as we can."

Torin Hunter, Columbia, said he could see how buckles like this one could be dangerous.

"If you're going at a high speed, which you probably don't want to do that, you would kind of fly over it a little bit. So I can see the importance of the construction and why they are doing it," Hunter said.

Dalton said it is a very important problem that they try to fix quickly. In the summer public works is busy trying to keep up with the heat related problems on the roads.

"Well it's always a challenge, we've got a lot of work going on in the summer to maintain the streets. We have: chip seal going, we've got mill and overlay, we've got crack repair, we've got people out doing stripping, we've got chip seal," Dalton said.

To determine which roads need the most help, Dalton said public works has a rating system.

"We rate all the streets on a scale of one to ten and the streets with the highest rating, those are the best streets and the streets with the lowest rating, we will send out to mill and overlay, sometimes we will chip and seal. And some streets if they are pretty good, won't get any maintenance at all but there may be a crack or a weakness in that pavement that is not apparent and the heat and the moisture comes and they cause a buckle," Dalton said.

For a buckle in the road, Columbia public works will send out people within one day and for a pothole, it's one to two days. 

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