This week’s hot weather wasn’t just a problem for people and pets. It was also a problem for pavement.
Tim Byrne, maintenance operations manager for Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, said the extreme heat Thursday led to damage on at least eight sections of city streets.
“This isn’t out of the ordinary,” Byrne said. “Any time we see temperature spikes to this degree, we get some buckling of our pavement.”
He did not provide specifics on where the damage occurred, but one of the areas was South 84th Street between O Street and Old Cheney Road, where several sections on both sides of the street had damage.
Byrne said damage usually starts to happen when road surface temperatures hit 115-120 degrees. On Wednesday, he said he took readings on a couple of different streets that topped out at 133.
It’s not only the extreme heat that causes problems, but also the swing between morning and afternoon temperatures.
Byrne said early morning surface temperatures were around 77 degrees, making for a 56-degree difference in a matter of a few hours.
That causes “a lot of expansion and contraction in those streets.”
On some streets, there just isn’t a lot of room for that amount of expansion, he said, “and it takes the path of least resistance, which tends to be upward.”
Byrne said he wasn’t aware of the buckling streets causing any damage to vehicles. He said drivers are normally pretty good about notifying Lincoln Transportation and Utilities or another city department, allowing crews to respond quickly and close traffic lanes to start repairs.
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