Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One, two, buckle my.... road?

Here we are on Day 2 of record breaking high temperatures for June in MN.  Fortunately, I am blessed to work, drive and live in environments that are air conditioned.  God bless modern technology - I really don't think I could have survived in a time without it.

I have to say that one of the big disappointments that come with working all day and attending school at night is that there is not much room for interesting or entertaining stories to share.  At least for me personally.

Generally speaking, I do have an interesting story or fact to tell you.  Yesterday after work, after picking up my requisite five shot iced espresso, I took off on a major freeway to make the trek from work to school.  It isn't really too harrowing of a journey, but any time one attempts to drive through a major metropolitan downtown area during summer rush hour, there is always the possibility for frustration.

Happily, for traffic going in my direction last night, things were normal, A-OK, totally cool.  Typically I do not pay much mind to the traffic going in the opposite direction, probably because it is usually moving along at a reasonable pace and therefore does not attract special attention.  However, yesterday afternoon it was shockingly different.

As I approached the north side of Minneapolis, a scene closely resembling a tightly packed parking lot arose before me.  Readers, it was BAD.  Given the sweltering heat and that it was still only 4:30 p.m., it looked like utter misery.  I could not tell what was causing the backup, but it was extensive.  I did happen to notice a group of city work trucks located at the start of the stoppage, but it was unclear what they were doing.  As there were no emergency vehicles on the scene, I surmised that it was not an accident, but because my direction of the freeway was moving quickly, I could not stop to examine.

The only thing I did notice was that there seemed to be some odd sections of ripped up and rocky pavement as I drove along.  This is a freeway that I take every week to class, and I had not noticed it before, nor were there any signs indicating that road construction was taking place in the area.

It was not until I arrived home last night to watch part of the nightly local news that I learned what had really happened.  Are you ready?  Due to the extremely high temperatures, the roads were literally buckling beneath traffic.  That's right.  Pavement hates high temperatures even more than I do.  Our roads are used to the havoc that snow, ice, salt and gravel wreak during our bleak and freezing months, but submit them to 97 degrees in June and they say NO WAY! 

Today is supposed to be more of the same, but I do not have school so I will not be back to reassess the conditions of Interstate 94 in northern Minneapolis.  Hopefully no more roads will be buckling on my usual routes, but I wouldn't blame them if they did.

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