Non-stop heat wave causing road issues in mid-Missouri

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COLUMBIA- Drivers in Columbia and the rest of mid-Missouri have had to keep an even closer eye on the road recently.

Multiple road "blow-ups" have happened this summer, and drivers are taking notice.

One resident took to Facebook, saying "I've contacted the city three times. Cannot get someone to come fix this."

Columbia officials say the city is receiving more complaints now that the temperature has been in the mid-90's for the past couple weeks.

"In the summer it gets very hot. Maybe you have some pavement that has already crack in it. It's weak in someway, maybe there is a joint area where two sections of pavement are coming together, maybe it's a road where a lot of heavy traffic is on. When heat and moisture gets in the pavement, it expands and it causes a buckle," Barry Dalton, the city's public information officer for Public Works, said.

KOMU also asked Dalton about the Facebook complaint. He said the city usually responds immediately to the scene, assesses the situation crews try to put in a temporary fix. 

"If they can't get it done right there, maybe it's on a busy road or there's something more emergency going on, they'll put signs around it and they'll come out immediately when they can," Dalton said.

Dalton says road buckles are not preventable, and that all residents can do is tell the city immediately.

"Road buckles, just like a pothole, can damage your car, can damage your undercarriage of the car. Someone can trip, and get a wheelchair or a bicycle tire caught in them, so we take them very seriously," Dalton said.

Columbia's network of roads are maintained by the county and the Missouri Department of Transportation, but most of them are maintained by the city itself. Dalton encourages people to email or call the Public Works department with their complaints.

Harold Price is a resident in the Steeplechase neighborhood, where there's a buckle on part of the main road.

"The road started buckling probably about three days ago. And then after the rain and heat came back out yesterday, it really buckled a lot," Price said.

The city received a complaint and paved the road temporarily. Price is quite satisfied with what the city has done.

"Considering all of the problems having all over the town, they've got to us pretty quick. They didn't fix it permanently, but they've got to the point where we can drive on, and I'm happy with that," Price said.