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I-69 buckles twice in Eaton County

69 buckles.JPG
Posted at 7:08 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 04:36:17-04

OLIVET, Mich. — There may be no better illustration of how lousy Michigan’s roads are than the fact that I-69 buckled twice this week in Eaton County.

The same thing happened last year in the same general area.

MDOT says the biggest problem is simply the age of the pavement on I-69 in Eaton County.

Buckling is usually a quick fix.

But this summer it's happening faster than it can be repaired.

"You should always have situational awareness and be safe," said Aaron Jenkins, MDOT Spokesperson. "We have the Charlotte garage there, and they were able to get to them pretty quick and get those repairs done in 30, 45 minutes."

But as soon as one is fixed, another buckle appears.

With temperatures in the high 80s, Michigan roads like I-69 expand between joints.

Once there's no room left, they buckle.

"The rapid temperature changes that we have here in Michigan are to blame...if we don't have problems with the potholes, sometimes we get the buckling as well, so the temperature has a lot to do with it," said Jenkins.

And the older the road, the less space it has to expand.

"Over there on I-69, the roads are pretty old there's not much room to give there."

They're over thirty years old to be exact; Jenkins tells News 10 the original roadway was built in the 1970s, and was overlaid with concrete in 2000.

He says I-69 is due for a major upgrade in 2021, but says if they can get more funding, the work can be done earlier.

"We do have flexibility to make changes and do it earlier, but it's all based on funding. Until then, we'll have our crews out there ready to fix those problems."

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