Pavement buckles, causes delays on U.S. 61 between Cape Girardeau, Jackson

Friday, June 26, 2009
MoDot senior crew worker Gary Glastetter helps to pave the buckled pavement around 5 p.m. that backed up traffic on US 61 North near the County Park Thursday. (Elizabeth Dodd)

The heat wave gripping Southeast Missouri buckled the pavement across both northbound lanes of U.S. 61 near Cape County Park North, snarling traffic during one of the busiest times on the road between Jackson and Cape Girardeau.

The road reopened shortly before 6 p.m., Missouri Department of Transportation Southeast District engineer Mark Shelton said. Crews had patched the road and traffic in the northbound lanes was returning to normal.

Shelton was unsure what time the pavement buckled.

Cape Girardeau police directed traffic onto the shoulder around the obstruction.

"It is just the timing is terrible right at rush hour," Shelton said.

Officers directed traffic until the road was repaired, police spokesman Cpl. Adam Glueck said.

Thursday was the ninth consecutive day of above-90 temperatures. That lengthy heat wave is causing headaches for MoDOT in Southeast Missouri, Shelton said. Similar pavement problems have been reported in numerous locations around the 14-county district.

"It is our concrete pavement," he said. "They expand and if the heat just stays on and we have had this abrupt change, we have at the joints what we call pavement blow up. It puts a pretty good bump in the road."

MoDOT crews make buckled pavement a top priority and work overtime to make repairs, Shelton said. "As soon as we get a report about it, that is an all-hands-on-deck moment and we go out and get that taken care of."

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent Addresses:

Cape Girardeau County Park North, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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