LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The summer heat can take a toll on our bodies, but it can also wear on our roads.
One Lawton resident said he was coming back into town on 11th street and when he drove under I-44, he noticed extensive damage.
“Started looking at it and assumed that it was an old break up and bigger trucks travel across it and they make the road break,” said Vance Freeze. “So I moved as many of the rocks out of the way as I could and we drove on.”
City crews are busy repairing the roads, but they said this is normal for this time of year.
“This is typical for the Oklahoma summers, where the heat gets onto that concrete and it makes it all expand,” said Cliff Haggenmiller, streets & traffic control superintendent for the City of Lawton. “It’s going to look for the weakest place, and once it does, it will actually blow that joint out.”
Haggenmiller said the heavy rains are also partly to blame.
“The rains we received the last couple weeks, or about a month ago, has swelled the ground,” said Haggenmiller. “Now, as that moisture is starting to evaporate, you have that shrinking. So, that movement is added to the already ongoing expansion of the concrete.”
Haggenmiller said many roads around the city are due for an update.
“A lot of these roads have already outlived their lifespan," said Haggenmiller. "As many citizens already know in the city. So, the standards have much changed over the years. So, they’re just not going to withstand it as much as the newer roads, how they’re being constructed today.”
Until new roads can be installed, Haggenmiler said the city crew will be busy working on Lawton streets so they are safe for citizens.
“Unfortunately this is not a preventable issue, but we’ll handle them as they come up and we’ll be able to repair as fast as possible," said Haggenmiller. "But as always, please, when you’re driving through a work zone, as you can see we’re really close to the active traffic, so please slow down and be watching for workers in these work zones.”
One lane is closed on 11th street under I-44 as they lay new concrete. After they finish that project, they will begin working at 6th and G.
If you come across any buckling roads in Lawton, let the city know via e-mail, phone call, or their iHelp Lawton portal.