While extreme heat can be hard on us, it can be just as hard on area roadways. Paul Barnett Public Works Manager for the City of Akron says this type of searing heat can cause some road surfaces to buckle. He tells AkronNewsNow one type of road in particular is a problem. " It mostly affects concrete streets. The more concrete you have and the longer straight stretch of concrete you have, the worse the condition."
Barnett says many interstates have a concrete roadway, even though its been covered with asphalt. If there are no expansion joints the more rigid streets can buckle. He says concrete roadways with many curves don't have the same problem because the concrete can expand sideways,and outwards, relieving some of the pressure of expanding into another concrete slab on a straight stretch of highway.
" We have had historically some problems on State Route 59, which is our innerbelt, with this situation. We had that a few years ago where two concrete sections of slabs were pushing against each other, and finally one gave way, and lifted up," says Barnett. That can be dangerous for cars hitting the buckled slabs at higher speeds, causing a loss of control of the vehicle and other damage.
Barnett says all the newer bridges that have been built have concrete decks but asphalt expansion joints to alleviate the problem by allowing the road surface to expand against the asphalt, which is flexible.
Paul Barnett says newer concrete roads also have the asphalt expansion joints. He says the east leg of the expressway is equipped with the expansion joints
Barnett says they'll closely monitor the situation. " We monitor the roadways in the heat of the day. We'll have a foreman go and drive them just to see what's going on."
Barnett also advises any motorists discovering any buckling roadways to call Akron Police.