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Heat causes pavement buckles, road closures across Wisconsin

Heat causes pavement buckles, road closures across Wisconsin

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Buckling pavement

A road sign on Highway 33 near McKinley Beach Road, town of Beaver Dam, warns of an upcoming bump because of a pavement buckle in 2018. Roads across Wisconsin have been buckling because of the heat. 

A heat wave is causing pavement to buckle and roads to close across Wisconsin, with more than 10 closures reported over a two-and-a-half-hour period Wednesday due to the crumbling pavement.

From 3:30 to 6 p.m., the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported 11 partial or full road closures in Dane, Monroe, Dodge, Sauk and Columbia counties.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation released this video of a pickup truck plunging off a slippery interchange exit ramp in the Milwaukee area. The driver survived.

The department is warning drivers to slow down and watch for buckling roads while driving. Serious issues should be reported to 911.

“Pavement can buckle when the weather quickly goes from cool to very hot. This causes slabs of pavement to expand and push against one another,” the department said. “If the pressure becomes great enough, the pavement can buckle and create unexpected bumps or dips.”

The Dane County 911 Center said pavement buckling has “been happening lately” across the county because of the recent onslaught of 90-degree days.

On Wednesday, Dane County saw at least three road closures because of the pavement damage.

The northbound lane of Highway 51 at Siggelkow Road in McFarland was closed for more than two hours.

A road buckle on Highway 12 in Waunakee closed all lanes at Meffert Road. Another buckle on Highway 151 at Highway ID in Dane County caused the road to close for more than an hour.

The Department of Transportation said drivers should be ready to move over for all roadside workers as they repair the damaged pavement.


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