Get stuck in I-5 traffic Monday afternoon? Blame crumbling freeway lanes

Repair crews at 175th Street, courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation

Just in time for the afternoon commute, Monday’s high temperatures were hot enough to break up the pavement on northbound Interstate 5, forcing on the Washington State Department of Transportation to shut down freeway lanes at two locations in the stretch from Northeast 130th Street to Northeast 195th Street.

Morgan Balogh, WSDOT assistant regional administrator, told our online news partner The Seattle Times that the sudden damage can be mainly blamed on the declining pavement, which is more than 65 years old, cracked and rutted by heavy trucks and nonstop car traffic.

Triple-digit temperatures caused the already weak concrete panels in north Seattle and Shoreline to push against each other and buckle upward, he said. Wherever the concrete was already flaking away, the heat would make it peel or crumble faster this week, he said.

“We get buckling of the freeway when it’s hot – but not like the last few days,” Balogh told The Times A pavement failure last week in Shoreline is also suspected of being heat related.

You can read more in The Times story here.

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