Extreme heat taking toll on Valley sidewalks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The Valley broke yet another heat record on Wednesday, as the mercury climbed to 116°F (about 46.66°C) at one point in the day.

Temperatures the past several days have been way above normal, and that extreme heat has some Valley sidewalks to buckle and break.

Cars that travel along 100th Street in North Scottsdale might not notice what the heat has done, but Pete Kertz and his sons couldn't miss the hump or bump in their road, which is the sidewalk.

"I didn't think the heat could do that," said Brady Kertz. "I thought the heat just made stuff hot and burn."

"It's just Mother Nature taking its toll on our sidewalks here in Scottsdale," said Pete.

In fact, this phenomenon has a name at the City of Scottsdale's Department of Public Works. It's called a "thermal heave", and when temperatures reach the extreme zone for several days and doesn't cool off at night, there are a lot more of them.

"The calls come in. We've probably received 10 to 15 calls in last two days," said Randy Ghezzi with City of Scottsdale Public Works.

Ghezzi says there are joints between the concrete panels of a sidewalk. They take a beating in extreme temps.

"As the concrete expands and contracts, it weakens that joint, and when we get the extreme high temperatures, that weaker joint will give and the concrete will start to rise with the thermal cracking," said Ghezzi.

The Sottsdale Public Works Department will probably deal with dozens more of these throughout the summer. They will send a crew to remove the panels and replace the joints.