Why roads in the Pacific Northwest buckled under extreme heat

Why roads in the Pacific Northwest buckled under extreme heat


A road that buckled in the recent heat. | Washington State Department of Transportation North via Twitter

During last weekend’s deadly heat wave, some roads in the Pacific Northwest buckled. Workers ventured out in blistering conditions to put cracked concrete and asphalt byways back together. Steel drawbridges were doused with water to make sure they wouldn’t swell shut under the oppressive heat.

The heat dome that sat over the region provided a brutal stress test of its roadways, some of which couldn’t withstand multiple days of record-breaking temperatures. It’s something that’s happened before, in Washington, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and anywhere else experiencing extreme heatwaves.

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