LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has re-opened the portion of Johnston Street that was closed on Thursday after the roadway buckled.

Residents noticed a ramp-like formation in the roadway. The southbound lanes near Our Savior's Church Midtown, close to Arnould Boulevard, were raised and damaged. Local authorities responded quickly.

LADOTD worked the scene overnight and into the day on Friday, clearing the buckle and laying new asphalt. The project required the asphalt to cool before the roadway could be re-opened to the public.

While that was happening, the roadway was closed, and local police and even a Lafayette Fire Department firetruck were used to cut the lane off to prevent accidents. Buckled roadways can cause a lot of damage with drivers who aren't paying attention.

But as of Saturday morning, the roadway appears to be safe and has re-opened, with traffic resuming normally.

What Causes Roads to Buckle?

According to most experts, extreme heat can cause buckling in roads, also called a blowup, and Louisiana has been under heat advisories this week as the heat index climbs into the triple digits.

But why does it happen? AccuWeather provided one explanation.

The reason this happens is due to the way roads are built — in layers.

According to Rhino, a company who’s sole purpose is repairing roadways, as temperatures change, road surfaces expand and contract.

“Concrete is designed in slabs and designed to focus this movement at the joint between slabs. Lean mix and continually reinforced concrete also focuses movement in concentrated points," their website states. “Asphalt reacts differently to temperature changes, expanding and contracting evenly over the entire surface area.”

LADOTD offers a similar explanation.


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