Department of Transportation repairs buckled road in Vidalia

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

VIDALIA — Louisiana Department of Transportation has repaired a portion of US 84 in front of the Walmart in Vidalia after it buckled Sunday afternoon, LDOT spokeswoman Erin Buchanan said.

She said the department removed about a four-foot by eight-foot section of concrete and replaced it with asphalt. Both westbound lanes of traffic are open again.

“The asphalt is compressible, and it serves as a replacement for the pavement and the compressible sealant,” Buchanan said. “We will monitor the repair and address any further issues as they arise.”

Concrete pavement consists of joints to allow for compression and expansion. During the wintertime, concrete compresses opening up the joints, she said. During the summer, the concrete expands and joints close, she said.

She said typically, asphalt or rubber sealants are placed around the concrete joints to keep moisture and foreign objects out. Sections of the roadway are likely to buckle in the summertime because concrete pushes together as it expands. Any incompressible objects such as sand or rocks between the concrete and sealants prevent concrete from expanding, which causes pressure to build up.

“This happens when the roadway surface expands at a crack or joint where moisture has seeped in,” Buchanan said. “Heat then causes the pavement to buckle and warp. This is a somewhat common phenomenon during our extremely hot summers.”