Buckle up: High temperatures can cause fissures in the roads

Concrete slabs can expand because of the heat.

Andrew Kramer
July 02, 2018 - 9:35 pm

Dreamstime

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As temperatures climb into the hundreds, officials advise being on the lookout for road buckling. 

When it's hotter than 90 degrees out — like we've continued to endure this week — PennDOT Deputy Communications Director Brad Rudolph said some roads throughout the region may buckle.

"The concrete slabs kind of expand because of the heat," he explained, "and then they buckle at a joint or a weak spot within the slab."

All across the Delaware Valley — including major roadways like U.S. Routes 1, 202 and 422 — the road buckling has kept PennDOT crews busy.

"We basically send in crews to cut it out, clean it up and then fill it," Rudolph added. "We try to do it as fast as possible."

Just like we tend to see more potholes on the roads when it snows, buckling becomes a problem as temperatures soar, slowing down traffic even more during rush hours.

"Most of the time we try to do a permanent fix, but often times we have to use a cold patch, which is a more temporary fix," he said, "and have to come back at a later time and fix it more permanently."

Rudolph said if you come across a buckled road, let PennDOT know right away.