Our Weather is So Hot It’s Breaking Highways Across Minnesota
Our recent heatwave has wreaked havoc on roads and highways across Minnesota and has caused the pavement to buckle in the hot temperatures.
Minnesota may be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but it's also the land of extreme weather that can affect our roads. In the winter season, the freezing and thawing can cause potholes to form. And now that we're making our way through an early June heatwave, the sudden heat and humidity is causing roads and highways to buckle across Minnesota.
KARE 11 reported Monday that Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) crews across the Twin Cities metro area had responded to and fixed 28 different spots where the pavement had buckled up, thanks to the high heat and humidity.
So why do roads and highways 'break' when it's hot here in Minnesota? MnDOT explained the science behind it:
Pavement buckles can occur when the air temperature changes from moderate to extreme heat. When a road is constructed it is cut into segments creating a space for expansion and contraction. Sometimes that space is not enough and when that happens the pavement buckles or blows up, particularly when the pavement is older and weaker. The warmer the temperature the more the pavement material expands.
Pavement buckling in our hot Minnesota weather has occurred here in Rochester, too-- most recently back in May of 2018, when a stretch of West Circle Drive buckled in the early-season heat. MnDOT says to keep an eye out for buckled pavement, especially this week, as our hot, humid weather is expected to continue for several more days.
And if you DO run across pavement that's buckled, MnDOT says to try not to drive over it, if possible. Instead, they recommend you slow down and safely move into another lane-- and call 911 if you encounter one. MnDOT also noted that pavement buckles are their highest priority and that crews are moved from other projects to fix buckled pavement as quickly as possible.
Of course, we're used to our extreme weather causing problems, right? In fact, keep scrolling to check out some of the most devasting weather disasters in Minnesota history!
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