Roads buckling in record heat

SEATTLE — Roads around Puget Sound are buckling in the extreme heat.

Workers had to patch major damage on southbound Interstate 5 near Dearborn around an area that was closed this weekend for rehab work.

State workers also responded to buckled concrete in Tukwila and Shoreline.

Jeremy Ferguson, road maintenance manager for the King County Road Services Division, said old concrete panels are particularly vulnerable to buckling.

Usually, there’s enough space between the panels for them to expand and contract in changing temperatures, but this heat is sustained.

“There’s no relief in there, so they keep expanding and expanding until, occasionally, something will pop out of place,” Ferguson said.

WSDOT confirmed crews use asphalt to quickly make emergency repairs, but that can also fail in the heat.

In Tacoma, a couple of lanes on the I-5/Interstate 705 exit were closed because an emergency patch placed Sunday failed in Monday’s heat.