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[GALLERY] Pavement Buckles Near Columbus And Roosevelt

By Kim Bellware in News on Jul 5, 2012 9:00PM

Drivers heading through town near Grant Park yesterday got an eyeful—and some traffic disruption—after a section of pavement across all lanes on Columbus Drive buckled in yesterday's July 4th heat. Officials shut down the drive and rerouted traffic once the road broke apart, estimated a little after 3:30 p.m.

CBS 2 reported that in some sections, the buckled pavement had risen as high as two and three feet.

Chicago wasn't the only place experiencing buckling pavement (according to the CBS report officials said they weren't immediately sure if the heat was to blame). In Wisconsin, WisDOT said it responded to 17 reports of pavement buckling on Wednesday.

Speaking to KTSP-TV in Wisconsin, a WisDOT spokesperson offered an explanation that indicts heat as the chief cause:

"During hot weather, pavement tends to expand. Where there are expansion joints, the slabs of pavement push against each other and if the pressure becomes high enough the pavement may buckle."

Minneapolis and Raleigh, N.C. also had reports of pavement buckling during this week's high temps.

The two-pager from The American Concrete Pavement Association (you knew it existed!) has some extra info on pavement heat and buckling, including confirmation that you can, in fact, cook an egg in five minutes if the surface of the pavement hits 158 ºF.

Today, Chicago broke a July 5 high temperature record when the mercury pushed to 103-degrees at O’Hare just before 2 p.m. We were in within two degrees of an all-time high temperature, so if you're biking or driving, keep an eye on the pavement.