CENTRAL TEXAS — For TxDOT, tackling hazardous weather means being ready to work the moment it happens. They've been getting a head start on this year's preparations.
Between congested lanes and ongoing construction, there's been plenty of grumbling about Texas highways.
That's why the last thing we need is weather to slow us down. TxDOT has been prepping its vehicles since the first week of October to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
"This is standard TxDOT practice. We want to have thorough preparation before the winter weather season even begins," said TxDOT spokesman Jake Smith.
Their brine trucks are undergoing inspections and calibrations while the department is also working to make sure they have all the staffing they need for the next few months.
Smith couldn't speak to the exact number of supplies but surrounding TxDOT districts like Austin have ordered more liquid brine compared to last year. Smith says it's never too early to begin planning for winter.
"It's important to have that preparation because you never know what the winter season is going to bring forth," said Smith.
TxDOT will be using motor graters again this year instead of snowplows to clear snow and ice off the roads. The department feels that the motor graters can accomplish the same job effectively.
They also plan to implement the lessons they learned from February’s arctic blast.
"If this past winter event taught us anything, and while we do prepare every single year, it taught us the importance of preparation and that it's not done in vain," said Smith.
He added that there are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that you stay safe on the roadways this winter.
"Wintry weather, freezing/sub-freezing temperatures, if you can, stay home," said Smith. "Stay off the roadways. That's the safest thing you can do. Of course, not everyone is afforded that privilege and so if you have to be on the roadways, be informed."
You can keep yourself up to date with the latest alerts and road closures by following TxDOT on social media.
Don't forget that you can also rely on our First Alert 25 forecast to keep you aware of any inclement weather on the horizon.
It's also recommended that you keep your car up to date on maintenance and have an emergency kit stowed away, just in case.
By getting the appropriate tools and resources together now, TxDOT won't have to play catch-up if we see another big snow this winter.