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TxDOT treating roads preparing for freezing temperatures

Posted at 3:51 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-02 09:18:56-05

TxDOT trucks were out on the roads bright and early this morning spraying a pretreatment in preparation for the potential of freezing temperatures this weekend.

TxDOT says this is all a part of its regular winter operations. A TxDOT spokesman says the pending forecast for the weekend and early next week has them taking these precautions, with projected freezing temperatures. While some folks in Killeen understand, others see no point.

Teasia Cooper said a Bell County Resident said, "It’s a waste of resources because it’s not going to do anything right now, I don’t even think it’s going to prevent anything. I don’t really think it’s going to do anything but make the roads wet and salty."

TxDOT treated the roads with a brine solution or saltwater mixture, lowering the freezing point of moisture. Some residents like Carole Lodge say pretreating the road is a good idea.

"When you get a little bit of freezing you get black ice," Lodge said. "People all have their own opinions but if they’re out driving and it saves their life, they will know that it’s a good thing."

With chilly temperatures ahead this weekend, Smith said the agency is on its toes.

"The pretreatment is certainly a proactive action. And so, this is just based off the forecast," said Smith

Smith says their tea monitors the forecast through The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Smith said, "Every year TxDOT begins preparations for winter weather months in advance and this year is no different here in the Waco district. And our maintenance personnel regularly monitor the forecast and adjust operations as needed."

Roads and bridges are the first to freeze. Crews focused on highly traveled roads – including Highway 84, Highway 6, I-35, and I-14. Depending on roadway conditions, if the road stays dry, Smith said they estimate the pretreatment to stay on the road between 2-3 days. This is the first time this winter season that they have started road treatments.

Chief Meteorologist Matt Hines said out of the multiple models he studies; one does depict a small possibility of flurries come Sunday morning. Hines said the surface temperature of the ground will still be warm -- so he does not expect any major freezes or issues on the road.