Major highway buckles amid scorching heat wave
Excessive heat is putting millions on alert across the United States, and in one location, where temperatures approached the triple digits, even infrastructure began to crumble.
On Tuesday, Minnesota’s Department of Transportation tweeted out two pictures of pavement buckles on I-94 in Moorhead and on an unidentified highway.
Pavement buckles were spotted on several Minnesota roads this week as temperatures soared, presenting a danger for vehicles.
On Tuesday, Minnesota’s Department of Transportation (MnDOT) tweeted two pictures of pavement buckles on I-94 in Moorhead, located in the west-central part of Minnesota near the border of South Dakota. Buckles happen when a segment of the road doesn’t have enough space to contract or expand, according to the department.
"If you spot a pavement buckle, slow down, change lanes carefully, and call 911 to report it," the MnDOT said.
A section of highway in Maple Grove, Minnesota, buckled on July 25 due to the heat wave affecting the state.
Buckles occur during hot spells, primarily along sections of highways where the pavement is old and weak. When the sun heats the pavement, it expands to fill the space constructed for it, but buckles occur when it exceeds that space, according to the MnDOT. Pavement buckles also occur because of thermal expansion, with moisture that previously seeped into a crack or joint weakening the pavement and causing it to warp, AccuWeather reported in 2019.
On a sunny summer day, the surface of a road can be significantly hotter than the air.
Excessive heat warnings were underway in parts of southern Minnesota on Thursday after temperatures continued to rise in the state.
In Moorhead, Minnesota, near where the MnDOT reported a pavement buckle, temperatures haven’t dipped below 80 degrees Fahrenheit since July 17. On Wednesday, Moorhead reached a high of 98 degrees, the hottest it has been since June 19, 2022, when the mercury spiked to 101 degrees.
Cooler air is predicted to return to Moorhead over the weekend with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures could rebound during the start of next week with the mercury once again flirting with the 90-degree mark.
This is hardly the first time that intense heat has caused infrastructure to crumble. Just a couple of weeks ago, on July 17, dramatic footage was captured as a road suddenly buckled feet ahead of a motorcyclist in Baoding, China. Fortunately, the motorcyclist was able to stop in time.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories