Officials request drivers notify them of roads buckling from the heat

Officials recommend drivers call 911 if they discover a road that has buckled.

FARGO — When the temperatures reach extreme highs, roads can begin to buckle under the heat.

Joe Peyerl, assistant district engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, says this is typically when temperatures are above 90 degrees for a significant period of time.

"Typically (buckling) happens when we get about three days of sustained heat and humidity, where the pavement probably doesn't have a chance to cool off at night," Peyerl said.

Peyerl says roads are designed to accommodate some outward expanding, but once they reach that limit the road will buckle.

When someone comes across a buckled road, Minnesota Department of Transportation's Emma Olson says drivers should do so cautiously.


"Please slow down, ideally change lanes to avoid the buckle if it is safe to do so," Olson said. "We encourage drivers to report them (buckling). Calling 911 is going to be the best way to get the information to us quickly, so our crews can get out there and take care of it as soon as possible."

Once crews are alerted, Peyerl says they work quickly to apply a temporary fix while they wait for the opportunity to repair it permanently.

"What they do is to cut out or jackhammer the weakened section and put in some temporary asphalt mix that comes out of the bag," Peyerl explained. "Then we'll want to take that out and put some better asphalt mix in there, or else we can repave it with some concrete."

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