JULIAN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Highways was tasked with repairing a concrete slab that buckled upwards due to heat on Wednesday.

The section of concrete, located on US Route 119 near Julian in Kanawha County, was temporarily fixed overnight Tuesday night before WVDOH crews fixed the issue permanently on Wednesday.

WVDOH Chief Engineer of Operations Joe Pack says it’s common for heat to force parts of the concrete to expand.

“It is a common occurrence when you have extreme increases in heat because that expansion causes the material to change size, literally,” Pack said.

Concrete road slabs have expansion joints in between them, taking into account potential expansion, and while expansion is common under these situations, this particular slab of concrete expanded more than what the expansion joints could handle.

“This is really just how Mother Nature works and the way that the molecular makeup of the item reacts to the heat increase,” Pack said.

No accidents were reported due to the damage, and Pack says the situation could have been worse than it turned out to be.

“If not for possibly luck, fortune, or whatever you want to accredit it to, this could have been far more tragic than it already is,” Pack said.

Pack finished his thoughts on the matter by urging the public to be careful behind the wheel with crews on or near the road.

“I’ve went as far as to beg the public to slow down, beg the public to just keep their eyes open for our operators so that they can go home at the end of the day to their families,” Pack said.

The comment coming after a state DOH worker was struck by a motorist this morning in Harrison County while operating a mower.

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