Not only have the cold temperatures made your car groan when you start it, but it has also caused vehicles to make more noise traveling along streets that are a bit bumpier than usual.
Iowa Department of Transportation maintenance engineer, Bob Younie, says extreme temperature swings force surfaces to expand and contract more than normal — especially when it happens for a long stretch. “The thermal forces cause cracks, mico-cracks, that’s part of what lets the moisture get in and the freeze and thaw — you know you start to get potholes, those kind of things,” Younie says. “That’s a combination of wear and tear and our good friend Mother Nature.”
He says you can see the impact of the up and down temperatures all around us. “Same thing can happen to your house , you sometimes you see cracks in your house that aren’t just settlement –some of them can be changes in temperature — your driveway and sidewalks, all those kinds of things that are exposed to changes in temperature,” Younie says.
Younie says it’s just one of those rough years for the roadways. “Mother Nature just plain beats us with a stick some times, and our roads show the results of that,” Younie says. Younie says the highways that are in the worst shape are obviously the ones that have the most traffic. The DOT is responsible for taking care of 9,400 miles of highways across the state. He says the problems will continue until Spring.