UPDATE Southbound lanes reopened Tuesday night.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Traffic could be back on the southbound lanes of Interstate 79 in Braxton County by Wednesday morning, according to the West Virginia Division of Highways.
As of Tuesday morning, crews were working to remove a 100 foot section of highway near Servia Road where the roadway buckled late Monday.
“High heat and humidity these last couple of days have caused that roadway along I-79 to heave or buckle,” explained Brent Walker, state DOH communications director.
Traffic Advisory- I-79 south MM-46.5 will remain closed until further notice due to a road buckle.Detour is take Exit 51 Frametown to Rt-4 to Rt-11, back on at MM-46 Servia Rd. Detour travel time is 15 to 20 minutes. pic.twitter.com/P6j90omeEE
— WV Interstate 79 (@WVinterstate79) May 15, 2018
Milling work was scheduled to follow the road surface removal before resurfacing by a contractor which was expected to wrap up by Tuesday night.
“This is similar to the work that we’re doing on other interstates around West Virginia,” Walker said.
In the Braxton County case, the difference was that the work was not previously planned.
“It’s almost like a slip or a slide in that it’s unpredictable,” Walker said.
“But there’s a lot of movement on the roadway and, when things heat up, they move and when they come together, they hit each other and it can cause it to buckle.”
Late Monday, the highway was closed at MM 47.5 when the problem was discovered.
From that time until the planned reopening, Interstate 79 southbound traffic was being detoured off the highway at Frametown, MM 51, and put onto Route 4.
A roughly ten-mile detour was returning traffic to I-79 at Servia Road.
Northbound traffic on I-79 was not affected.