Officials prepare ahead of winter storm

Posted at 7:43 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:22-04

The Texas Department of Transportation is ensuring roads are safe ahead of the winter storm.

TxDOT started by pretreating major roadways, such as I-35 and I-14 with brine solution, which will help the first of the precipitation

On Monday afternoon, crews checked pretreated roads to see whether additional treatment was needed. 

According to TXDOT, some of the areas of concern, including elevated bridges, because they are the first ones to freeze over. Those areas will be monitored closely when crews start treating icy conditions.

“When things first start freezing, you don't always see, that there is ice on the road, so you have to be prepared for the road to be slippery if there is no ice on the road. It's going to be freezing there and it will turn into black ice before it becomes something that is visible,” I-35 Public Information for the Waco District Jodi Wheatley said.

Sand and dry salt are some of the materials, trucks will spread when that happens.

Ken Roberts, the spokesperson for TxDOT Waco District, said crews from multiple counties are visiting the truck yard in Belton to fill up on the brine solution. The tank on each truck can hold anywhere from 1,200 to 1,600 gallons. 

"This is going to allow traffic to continue to move and roadways to continue to continue to be relatively open as we then follow up with something with a little bit more traction, perhaps some sand-gravel mixture," said Roberts.

Roberts said a sand and gravel mixture will be used after the storm to add traction to the roads. He said this should help prevent drivers from slipping on the ice.

"We are prepared for winter weather so as we see the predictions and forecasts for rain, into wintry mix, into snow, we're prepared to deal with that as it comes," said Roberts.

City of Waco crews plan to start assessing the roads conditions starting at 8 p.m. If needed, sand will be applied to the roads.

The Waco-McLennan County Office of Emergency Management has been monitoring the storm conditions and planning ahead of the storm.

"The reason we do this is one to be proactive and then start going through the planning process of what kind of things we would need to do in the event. We start getting information earlier instead of waiting for it to show up,” Waco-McLennan County Emergency Operations Coordinator Frank Patterson said.

The Office of Emergency Management will be on standby if the weather conditions worsen.

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