July 17, 2006

That's what I call hot.

I’ll write about my weekend later, but first I thought you might enjoys some eye witness first-hand photos of an incident that happened on Interstate-39 just south of Interstate-80 at mile marker 58.

My wife and I were heading back from our re-enactment. Clone didn’t come with to this event; instead he stayed with my sister. She lives in Bloomington and we met halfway between Rockford and Bloomington at a town called Oglesby, we were picking up Clone there. We had just turned off of 80 heading south on 39 when we ran into a traffic jam. GREAT! I love traffic on major highways. It was moving slowly, so at least it wasn’t a stand still. There was a squad car blocking the road directing people to the right line. Then there was another directing people off the road completely, not onto the shoulder, but into the grassy ditch alongside the road. More emergency vehicles where arriving as we waited to get through.

I couldn’t see what had happened at this point. I made the comment that I was glad we were in my truck, because it was better suited for off-roading then Ktreva’s mini-van is. Okay, my truck was built for off-roading. It wasn’t until we got close did I see what happened. Fortunately, the Digital Camera was in the cab of the truck. Ktreva snapped these pictures.

pavement 1.jpg

pavement 2.jpg
Click to Enlarge

pavement 3.jpg
Click to Enlarge

My first thought was, “Holy crap, the concrete buckled from the heat.” Today I called the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and spoke with a person there regarding the incident. She advised me that the concrete had not buckled, but had exploded from the heat. She explained that buckling takes time to happen. On really hot days, the roadway can expand fast with no release, that when the pressure builds up enough it will literally explode. That is what happened here on 39. She said it happened twice yesterday, once around 1:00 PM and again around 5:00 PM (which is when we drove by).

Based on the time of the incident, we had to have arrived on the seen with in minutes of it happening. That makes me real happy that we didn’t get out of there any sooner. Once we got past the bad pavement there was a line of vehicles from full ton pick up trucks pulling a trailer to Dodge Neons on the shoulder with everything from flat tires to what appeared to be broken axels and radiators. If you look at the pictures you can see it was about a 1 and a half-foot high ridge in the road.

After picking up Clone we had to head back that way. We had stopped to get gas and eat, so it was about an hour later when we drove back. They had road crews there working on it; unfortunately the traffic was still backed up. They were now directing them through the ditch in the median around the bad section of road.

Posted by Contagion in Stories about me. at July 17, 2006 12:48 PM | TrackBack

I remember a few years back, the same thing happened on 90 near Beloit. Impressive beast, this mother nature.

Are you sitting at home, not working?

Posted by: That 1 Guy at July 17, 2006 01:24 PM

Lovely. Just Lovely.

Now I not only have to worry about Maggie May handlin' the heat on the drive (and not overheating)and the other drivers dealin' with heat induced road rage (cause that's gotta be it - I'm such a good driver it just *couldn't* be me!) now I gotta watch for the earth blowin' up in my face.


Posted by: Tammi at July 17, 2006 01:36 PM

That's like what tectonic plates due to cause earthquakes.

So bascially you had a cemetquake!

Posted by: Quality Weenie at July 17, 2006 02:52 PM

Hey! I'm fixin' to turn west on I-80 through Nebraska. Y'all quit breaking the freeway.

Posted by: Peter at July 17, 2006 09:29 PM

Wow! That's pretty impressive. Glad I went through there last week instead of this week.

Posted by: Jerry at July 18, 2006 06:53 AM

Ok, you win the "Damn, it's Hot" story of the week.

Posted by: Ogre at July 18, 2006 07:15 AM