Txdot begins pre-treating major corridors, more winter weather possible

Staff Writer

ABILENE – As the possibility of another round of winter weather moves into the area this weekend, TxDOT’s Abilene District started pre-treating major roadways this afternoon as roadway conditions allow.
Counties throughout the Abilene district will pre-treat Tier 1 and Tier 2 roadways with brine, which will discourage ice or snow from sticking to the pavement if the area does receive wintry precipitation. Tier 1 roadways include all sections of I-20 throughout the district, and US 84 from Roscoe to the Garza County line. Tier 2 roadways include US 277, US 83/84, SH 36, SH 70 and other high-traffic roadways in the district. Pre-treating operations will continue until all Tier 1 and Tier 2 roadways in the 13-county district are treated, and crews will continue to respond to snow and ice situations as the need arises.
The Abilene district is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor weather conditions for any potential winter weather. Safety of the traveling public is TxDOT’s priority, and crews have been working in shifts around the clock to prepare for and respond to wintry weather that moved into the district yesterday.
Motorists can also do their part by driving carefully and following these guidelines:
• Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses. These are the first to freeze.
• Reduce speed and drive with caution. A vehicle needs at least three times more space to stop on a slick roadway. Do not apply the brakes suddenly, and avoid using cruise control, so that you can respond better if you encounter slippery roads.
• Slow down when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, especially when their flashing lights are on. The law requires you to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching a snow plow, and do not pass on the right. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
• Be patient. Your trip time – including short commutes to work – could increase when adverse weather conditions exist. Also, keep to the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts through territory that may not have been plowed.
• Winterize vehicles before traveling during adverse weather. Check fuel, tire, oil and antifreeze levels. Make sure heater, brakes and windshield wipers are working properly.
• Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.
For real-time roadway conditions, check DriveTexas.org or follow @TxDOTABILENE.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 12,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at txdot.gov. “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter/TxDOTAbilene.