Pavement buckling causes closure of roadway in Draper

Jul 10, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: 9:24 pm

The Utah Department of Transportation says the summer road construction season is just starting to ...

UDOT says pavement buckling, caused by triple-digit temperatures, has temporarily closed a roadway in Salt Lake City. Photo credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

DRAPER, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation declared a structure emergency after high temperatures caused pavement buckling in Draper.

UDOT Traffic took to Twitter to report the incident.

The buckling occurred at a bridge located at 11400 S 500 W in Draper, Utah. It caused the closure of the roadway, which John Gleason with UDOT expects to be open to traffic by Monday evening.

UDOT said this is the first report of buckling this year in the Salt Lake County area.

Pavement buckling happens every year

Gleason said this happens each year as Utah reaches triple-digit temperatures.

“What generally will happen, is that you have joints that separate the panels,” he said.

Gleason explained that roadways on bridges are made up of panels connected by expansion joints.

“When you have expansion joints, that allows the panels to breathe and expand when it gets hotter, and contract when it gets colder,” he said. “Sometimes over years, usually, you’ll get grit and stones, or just debris in the expansion joints. If you see the extreme temperatures, like we’ve had,… the panels will expand and the pavement doesn’t have anywhere to go. And so, you have what we call buckling where the pavement around those joints, essentially, crumbles.”

Gleason said there is a solution to the pavement buckling. The affected area will be cut out and replaced with a patch that is safe to drive over.

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Pavement buckling causes closure of roadway in Draper