Heat causes interstate buckling - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Heat causes interstate buckling

(WMC-TV) - The hot temperatures buckled the pavement on Interstate 55, just south of the I-240 loop.

As crews worked to fix the damage, traffic was backed up for several miles.

"It was only about six inches, but that's enough to make you air borne and create a problem for you if you're not expecting it," said Bill Hazlerig, Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Hazlerig said at least two trouble spots surfaced just a few feet from each other on I-55.

"It's only about five feet wide but it's the whole lane across one lane. It's actually two sections about 100 feet apart on the southbound side," he said.

TDOT received reports of the buckling in the roadway from motorists who called in on their cell phones.

While no one was injured, the trouble spots did cause major traffic backups.

"Traffic's not closed. We try at TDOT to never close a road if at all possible. As you can see it's pretty slow," Hazlerig warned.

Hazlerig said the buckling is not uncommon and it was caused by the extremely hot weather.

"Temperature and moisture and expansion of materials underneath the surface is a basic problem here and that's what happened in this case," he explained.

Meanwhile, inspectors will be checking for more trouble spots.

"There are other areas we're watching, but it's unpredictable. You don't know when this going to happen so we'll just have to wait and see," said Hazlerig.

TDOT expects the repairs to be completed by Monday evening.

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