WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — West Wichitans may have noticed on Monday that Maple Street, between Ridge Road wan West Street, was bumpier than usual due to new buckling in the road.
According to the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) public affairs manager, Tom Hein, the reason for the buckling is moisture and heat.
“In Wichita, we have a lot of moisture, a lot of rain events in the last month, and that creates a saturated subsoil underneath that concrete,” said Hein. “Concrete is in plates, and when the moisture is down there, and then, you add heat on top of that, and you get that expansion, plates tend to act against each other, or fight against each other, and eventually, they find a way to release that pressure, and that’s what we see out on the concrete pavement. We often call it a blowup because that’s what it will do, it will create that tension between those plates, and there’s nowhere to go but up.”
A quick fix for the buckling on Maple Street was laid down the same day.
“A cold patch is a temporary fix with cold asphalt, as opposed to hot asphalt. That can be done very quickly and very easily to take care of a pothole especially,” Hein said.
Hein says a long-term fix will be needed for the long run.
“But, we know that with a cold patch, eventually moisture and traffic will work that patch back out. It really takes a hot patch of asphalt and sometimes cutting out a piece of the pavement and doing it right.”
If you notice a new buckle or any other road conditions on a state highway that needs attention, you can report it on KDOTs website, kdotapp.ksdot.gov/PotholeReportingForm/.