'Unprecedented' Extreme Heat Causing Utah Roads To Buckle, Streets Closing

By Ginny Reese

June 15, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Monday's extreme heat caused some roads in Utah to "buckle," reported ABC 4.

The Utah Department of Transportation said that 12th street in Ogden is now closed due to the buckling pavement. Drivers are being urged to find alternate paths and to stay on the lookout for other roads that may be doing the same.

The street will be closed until crews are able to repair the damages.

So how did the road buckle?
According to 2 KUTV, roads are built with joints in the concrete that allow for them to expand in heat. The older roads, however, get filled with rocks and debris. This means that when the roads expand in heat, they have nowhere to go so they buckle.

The Utah DOT wrote on Twitter:

"Weber County drivers - Westbound 12th Street is down to one lane due to buckling pavement, caused by today's extreme heat. Plan to use alternate routes."
Utah DOT spokesman Zach Whitney said:
"As soon as we saw that was what was going on, we had our crews go out and shut down the road."

Utah is currently going through an "unprecedented" heat wave that is causing extreme temperatures all over the state. Areas like Ogden, where the road buckled, are expected to to reach temperatures of over 100 degrees.

“When it is really hot, it's a good idea, especially on sections of freeway or sections of roadway that are maybe a little bit older, to keep an eye out,” Whitney says.

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