(KUTV) — As the air heats up, so do the roads, and that’s leading to cases of road buckling in Utah.
So far, three cases have occurred along the Wasatch Front just within the past week, according to the Utah Department of Transportation, and more problems could be coming.
“It’s very likely that we’ll see more road buckling situations,” said UDOT spokesperson Lisa Miller.
Over the weekend, the road on a freeway overpass buckled in Salt Lake City. It also happened a few days earlier on a scorching afternoon in Ogden.
Road buckling happens every summer with sustained temperatures of 90 degrees or higher, Miller said, although it’s certainly on people’s minds this year as temperatures heated up early. Roads are multi-layered, she said, and most of the problems Utah has seen this year so far have dealt with the top layers which makes it easier for crews to manage.
However, “it’s possible that we could be dealing with some deeper pavement failures this season because of the heat,” said Miller.
Miller said road buckling is “always a roadway emergency,” and drivers should call 911 to report them whenever they see them.
She said UDOT prepares for these situations as much as possible and responds quickly to fix them. However, as far as predicting when they will happen, “there’s not really a very good way to pinpoint where there’s going to be road buckling occurring."
And with heat in the forecast for the foreseeable future, “it’s very likely that we’ll see more road buckling situations,” Miller said.