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Drastic Temp Change Not Good For Roads

January 18, 2013, 5:13 AM by Austin Hoffman

Drastic Temp Change Not Good For Roads

Friday's temperatures don't reflect a typical January in South Dakota. And while that may be good news for you, it’s not so good for Sioux Falls roads. 

"What happens is, when you have snow on the ground, and you start getting those 40 degree temperatures, you're going to start getting some melting going on," Sioux Falls Street Department Manager Galynn Huber said.

And the city shouldn't have a problem hitting the 40 degree mark Friday. Huber says when snow starts melting and running into to any cracks in the road, it can cause potentially serious issues.

"If you have and failure in your road, any flaws, any openings where that moisture can get into during the day and flow into, at night when it gets cold it freezes, it expands, it will blow out and well start seeing a lot more maintenance issues out there on the street," Huber said.

He says one good thing this year, much like last year, is that there isn't much snow to melt. Keeping streets up to date also makes a big difference.

"If you can get out there and keep your streets in really good condition, anytime the water flows or you get fluctuations of temperatures in the winter, it's really not going to cause you a lot of a problem," Huber said.

And while Friday is going to be a winter paradise, the near future will be much different. Parts of South Dakota have highs below zero on Monday.

"One thing about when it gets really cold, the oil in the asphalt roads get real brittle. So you may not see physically a flow in the road but when it’s that brittle it can start breaking up for you and start causing opening in there. So it’s certainly something we want to take a look at," Huber said.

Huber says not only is the drastic change in temperature hard on the roads, but hard on the men and women working on them.

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