PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The blazing summer heat is here - but it isn't slowing road crews. In fact, construction projects across Phoenix are in high gear. As it turns out, the hotter the better for working with asphalt.
They are hard at spots like 7th Ave and Roosevelt. Part of the voter-approved T2050 plan is to fix streets and sidewalks. By the time you see the line of brake lights, it's too late. You're caught in the construction zone.
"It's just gridlock five days a week," said Phoenix resident Ryan. "Sometimes even on Saturdays."
Road crews in colorful vests are fanned out across Phoenix laying asphalt street after street, mile after mile. They're trying to stay ahead of schedule and beat the summer heat.
It may not look like it, but crews can actually go faster during the summer months thanks to the sun. As it turns out, asphalt likes heat 175 degrees or higher. It spreads easier so crews can work faster.
Rubben Lolly knows the numbers - he actually has a Master's degree in this kind of thing.
"Yes, they go faster and they get better quality products [and] that's what we want," Lolly said. "We want a quality street that never falls apart because we didn't get enough heat in there."
And faster is better when you're working in the sun.
The City of Phoenix has an aging 5,000-mile street network to handle. This year, they plan to repave 375 miles when they usually do 140.