Why are the roads melting in Gujarat, India?

OMG, are the roads melting, really? It is absolutely strange to hear something of that sort. We drive, walk, run, skate and bike on roads all the time but rarely ever come across situations where the tar underneath your shoes starts melting. Unfortunate it is true for the ones living in the state of Gujarat. The soaring high temperatures have impacted some of the roads by causing them to melt. The roads melting came as a surprise for the pedestrians especially since they had trouble getting their feet off the ground. As you can see in the video, a woman struggles to get off the road and is eventually helped by some good samaritans. The country has registered some extremely high temperatures this year. Rajasthan, a neighboring state topped the temperature chart at 49.2 ºC. Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat recorded 45 ºC. We hope they get some relief from the scorching sun fairly soon & also from the melting roads.

Some fun facts about Roads:  

  1. Good quality asphalt (especially in UK) can withstand temperatures of up to 50 ºC in theory.  In reality, the air temperature is always typically lower than ground temperature hence causing the asphalt to melt at a temperature lower than 50 ºC.
  2. Asphalt is like Chocolate. It gets soft first and then tends to melt as the temperature keeps getting higher. Similar, it turns rock hard when cold.
  3. Asphalt will liquify at a temperature of approximately 125 ºC
  4. If you’re in a situation where the road starts to get softer, the ideal solution is to close the road temporarily. Realistic situation is to spread crushed rock dust to avoid the tar from sticking to your shoes or tires.
  5. Melting impacts only the top layer of the asphalt which is also called ‘Bitumen’.

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