South Seattle road reopens after buckling during record heat

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SEATTLE -- A road buckled in the middle of rush hour in South Seattle on Wednesday, and officials say the cause was the record-breaking heat.

Northbound 4th Avenue was closed at S. Industrial Way and traffic was being diverted Wednesday evening.  Southbound traffic was down to one lane.

The road reopened shortly before midnight. According to SDOT, crews have installed a temporary repair on 4th Ave South near S. Industrial Way. There is still a noticeable bump, and speeds have been reduced to 10 mph over the repair zone. Drivers should plan ahead for delays and consider alternate routes.

"The heat bump was due to high temperatures, which caused materials embedded in the pavement to expand," SDOT officials said. "4th Ave S is an older road constructed with rigid concrete that does not contain the modern expansion joints, which make newer roads more resilient to temperature changes. Without joints to accommodate expansion, older rigid pavement is prone to buckle upward in the heat to relieve stress."

There were no injuries because of the buckled road, according to SDOT.

Western Washington saw record high temperatures Wednesday, with some areas going into the 90s.

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