TxDOT preparing roads for winter weather

by Staff reports

TYLER – TxDOT crews are getting ahead of a winter storm forecast for East Texas on Sunday and Monday, preparing roadways around the eight-county district – which includes Cherokee County – for snow and icy conditions.

The pre-treatment of bridges and other roadway areas susceptible to wind and ice will wrap up Jan. 8.

According to National Weather Service – Shreveport, a slight chance of rain and snow showers is expected before noon Sunday, with rain likely to fall between noon and 4 p.m., with a mix of rain and snow showers possible after that. A high near 45 degrees is forecast, with an overnight low around 34; chance of precipitation ranges from 60 to 70 percent, with rain and snow showers likely as the afternoon progresses.

On Monday, there will be a chance of rain and snow showers before 7 a.m., turning cloudy. A high of 44 and a low around 30 are predicted, according to the NWS site. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. The weather warms up Tuesday, which will feature sunny skies and a high near 51.

TxDOT officials said that I-20 and other major roadways are being pre-treated with a brine solution consisting of salt and water designed to prevent ice and snow from sticking to surfaces. The process is a fast-moving mobile operation with minimal impacts to traffic.

Drivers should allow a safe traveling distance between their vehicles and the mobile convoys distributing the pre-treatment materials.

Meanwhile, crew have readied equipment and materials to treat roadways as warranted by the storm. Coordination efforts with local municipalities and law enforcement are also underway. TXDOT works closely with the National Weather Service to have the best available information preparing for a winter weather storm.

TxDOT personnel continue to monitor local forecasts and weather conditions and will respond as needed to ensure roadways remain open and safe for travel when possible. Road closures and other conditions are posted and updated as necessary at DriveTexas.org. Get statewide road conditions by calling 800-452-9292.

Here are some safe driving tips should wintry conditions set in:

• Be extra cautious on bridges, overpasses, ramps, turns and shaded areas that usually freeze first.

• Reduce speed and allow extra time to reach destinations.

• Increase the following distance between you and other vehicles.

• If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of skid.

• Stay back at least 200 feet from vehicles treating roadways, and move over for emergency vehicles.

• Be patient. Your trip time could increase when adverse weather conditions exist.

• Remain in your vehicle. If stranded, please call 911 to alert emergency services.

• Avoid unnecessary travel if conditions warrant.