Two interstate highways buckle due to excessive heat in South Dakota

Updated Jun 25, 2016

The early-June heat has been so intense in South Dakota that it has caused some roads to buckle, reports. On June 9, a portion of the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 on the South Dakota-Minnesota state line buckled, and crews were called in to make repairs.

According to a report in the Argus Leader, the South Dakota Department of Transportation received five reports of buckled roads from the excessive heat in the following locations:

  • I-90 westbound near state line;
  • Highway 115 two miles north of Sioux Falls;
  • Two on I-229 near Louise exit; and
  • East side of the Tea interchange.

The buckled roads, or blow ups, occur when pavement temperatures get extremely high, Travis Dressen, Sioux Falls area engineer for the DOT, told the news agency, adding that pavement temperatures may have reached 130 degrees on June 10.

“When most materials heat up, they expand,” Dressen told reporters. “As these long ribbons of concrete start expanding, there needs to be somewhere to take up the movement. We expect (blow ups) every year. It’s really just the environment we live in here.”

The buckled pavement is temporarily patched until the concrete can be properly repaired, according to the report. Dressen advised drivers to look far ahead while driving to provide enough time to avoid buckled areas.