Buckling Beltline pavement causes hazard for drivers

MIchelle Heimann photo

MADISON (WKOW) -- State transportation officials say crews are doing regular surveillance of road surface conditions during this cold snap, as buckling pavement caused havoc on Madison's Beltline twice in less than 24 hours.

The buckling surfaces on the eastern portion of the highway on two different occasions Thursday snarled traffic and caused some.chain reaction crashes.

State Department of Transportation Chief Materials Engineer Barry Paye says shrinking of the concrete in the bitter cold weather widens surface cracks, and when water seeps into the cracks and freezes, the pavement pops.

Paye says an average of 10 patch repairs are applied to the roadway daily.

"What we're doing is trying to be vigilant about this," Paye says.

"Dane County does the maintenance for us on the Beltline, repeatedly trying to see if we've got.problems about to.form," Paye says.  "Trying to be proactive about dealing with this."

Paye says because of the cold, the patching mixture is more limited in its ability to seal concrete.  He says a project is planned for later this year to cover more of the Beltline surface with a mixture intended to more permanently remedy the issue of buckling.

Crews were called out once again early Saturday.  Just after 4:30 a.m., buckling was reported on the EB Beltline between Monona Dr and Stoughton Rd. 

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