Concrete sidewalks and traffic islands expand and sometimes heave up because of the heat. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

Concrete sidewalks and traffic islands expand and sometimes heave up because of the heat. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

Kelowna sidewalks buckle due to extreme heat

City staff said they normally see two or three buckled sidewalks but have seen more this year

With the extreme heat blanketing the city for much of the week, you may have seen some oddities happening on Kelowna sidewalks.

No, not people frying eggs. But buckled sidewalks, and even traffic islands.

City of Kelowna roadway supervisor Darrin Thompson said this is not new and in fact, the city often sees two to three sidewalks heaving up every summer.

“It happens every year where we see two or three of them, sometimes more and sometimes less,” he said.

“When the sun gets on it, the sidewalk expands because of the heat. They do have expansion joints built in but sometimes, those joints get filled in with rocks, dirt and other debris so instead of expanding into that, the sidewalk lifts up.”

Thompson said the sidewalks that buckle in the heat are usually made of older concrete.

“The new sidewalks in the city are made of stronger concrete but because we do have hot summers, we expect this so the newer infrastructure doesn’t do this,” he said.

However, due to the heat dome, there have been more buckled sidewalks.

“Yesterday, we had 15 locations reported by the public and our crews found 20 buckled sidewalks.

“Usually, they go back into place when it cools down but sometimes, they get damaged, cracked and break so we replace them.”

Thompson said if you see a part of a sidewalk that’s heaved up and it hasn’t been marked by the city, you can report it online or phone it in at 250-469-8600.

READ MORE: Wildfire sparks south of Kelowna at Lebanon Creek


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.