Despite heat, few incidents of road buckling

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Despite extreme heat over the past week, Southeast Missouri has had relatively few incidences of road buckling compared to previous years, according to Keith Gentry, maintenance superintendent of the Missouri Department of Transportation's Southeast Missouri District.

"It's been so dry, there hasn't been much humidity under the pavement," Gentry said.

Gentry said drier conditions tend to result in less road buckling. He estimated there have been three or four incidents near the Cape Girardeau area with about the same number near Dexter, Mo., and Sikeston, Mo.

"It tends to happen on concrete roads and high-volume roads which undergo more stress," Gentry said.

Mark Phillips, district engineer of the Cape Girardeau Special Road District, said his department hasn't had road buckling issues. The district manages mainly rural roads, which are typically made of asphalt or gravel and thus less susceptible to buckling.

Traffic operations manager Robert Kutak said he wasn't aware of any road buckling issues within the city of Cape Girardeau.

"We'll continue to see a few road buckling reports until the temperature cools down," Gentry said.

Road buckling results from expansion of concrete due to high temperatures. When placed under stress, the heated concrete may buckle.

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