Heavy rains followed by a swing to high temperatures the apparent cause of buckled pavement on Highway 26 east of Scottsbluff Friday afternoon.
Nebraska State Patrol and the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Department responded to the area adjacent to 21st Century Equipment, finding damaged concrete in the westbound lane of traffic.
NDOT District Operations Manager Chris Ford tells KNEB News about six panels, or 60-75 feet of the roadway, were damaged when the water in the soil expanded due to the heat. Ford says pavement temperatures were very high during the day, rising well over 100 degrees on area roadways.
Traffic in the area is being reduced to a single lane each direction using the eastbound lanes, and Ford says the detour will remain at least through the weekend.
Ford says repair work was already scheduled for later in the year on the westbound lanes, but the damage will likely prompt that work to be moved up to minimize disruptions for motorists.