A heat wave has struck areas mainly in western and central Europe and the German authorities have had to deal with an unlikely problem caused by the high temperatures. Speed bumps have been placed on some stretches of the German motorway network (autobahn) and speed limits have been imposed. This is a precaution against heat damage, the Transport Ministry explained on Wednesday, June 26th.
Forecasters have warned that temperatures could exceed 40 degrees celsius (104 fahrenheit) in the coming days in some parts of the continent. According to AP News, the Transport Ministry in Germany's eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt announced on Wednesday that it had imposed speed limits of 100 or 120 kph (62 or 75 mph) on several short stretches of the autobahn until further notice. The stretches normally have no speed limit.
According to the German TV channel MDR, motorists will have to adjust to speed limits on the highways, because of expected high temperatures. The reason for this is that the concrete surfaces on certain stretches could crack suddenly and lift, causing so-called “blow-ups.” The targeted stretches of autobahn have concrete road surfaces that are slightly fractured.
Until now, control trips by motorway maintenance companies have reported no heat damage. Authorities asked patrol crews to be particularly vigilant in the afternoons and evenings and to look for any changes at all in the road surface.