SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Early extreme heat creating some Utah road problems already

Jun 15, 2021, 5:28 PM

heat utah road...

UDOT workers repair road that buckled in the heat on the northwest corner of I-215 in North Salt Lake on Monday, July 1, 2013. (Deseret News)

(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– Record high temperatures has the pavement buckling under the pressure. The heat has kept Utah Department of Transportation crews busy fixing potholes and cracked pavement on the road. 

UDOT’s John Gleason said they had one heat-related issue to deal with on I-80 near Bangerter Highway recently, ahead of when crews normally have to deal with these issues.

“These temperatures are typically what we would see in July and August. It’s happening early. We are used to the warm weather, but these are some extreme temperatures,” said Gleason. 

Bangerter Highway wasn’t the only area crippling from the triple digits. 12th Street in Ogden, Utah also had to have road repairs Monday due to the heat.

So far, UDOT has repaired three road buckling incidents, especially on older pavement. 

“It doesn’t have to be exclusive to the older pavements, but that’s where you would typically see those panels expanding, and the joints get worn out or clogged with debris,” explained Gleason. “That’s where we see it”

When working on road repairs, UDOT crews try to get all the traffic far away from the affected lane to make the repair and stay safe. But a buckle in the road can be a unique challenge. The hump in the road can appear as an accelerated pothole, causing problems to drivers. 

“Road buckling can be a scary term for people. It would almost appear like an accelerated pothole. As soon as it started to happen, we would close down those affected lanes and start to address it,” said Gleason. 

UDOT crews strive to respond to road repairs before the problem accelerates. 

“Anything that happens on our roads, we want to be on top of it and address it right away,” stated Gleason. “We want to make sure our roads are as safe as they can possibly be for people.” 

The biggest way drivers can help UDOT workers is by reporting a buckling road or pothole. Submit the road problem to UDOT here

 

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Early extreme heat creating some Utah road problems already