Road crews prepare for ice, slick conditions

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - With freezing temperatures and precipitation on the way, street crews are hoping for the best, and gearing up for the worst.

At Tyler's TexDOT maintenance shop, trucks are at the ready in case they are needed Wednesday night. TexDOT says they will hit the interstate at the first signs of water and ice. That is because the grade-5, gravel mixture they use works best when it bonds to slick pavement.

"We're going to act like it is going to be the end of the world," said Larry Krantz. "We're going to be ready for it."

Krantz said crew members very experienced with East Texas roads and with the conditions.  "They've got a pretty good feel for what's coming and they know how to prepare."

"What's great is we have forewarning, now," said Trooper Jean Dark with the Department of Public Safety.  "People are aware that it's coming, and we just want to make sure that they take the right precautions."

Dark said troopers are on alert and DPS is in constant contact with TexDOT, the Red Cross, and even the military, just in case heavy equipment needs to be pulled out to help stranded motorists.

But freezing bridges are not the only thing road crews have had to tackle.  Commercial and residential sprinklers, combined with freezing temps have already forced city crews to de-ice some Tyler streets to prevent black-ice from forming.

"[It is] the most dangerous winter condition that there is because you're on it before you know it," said Krantz.

Officials say, if your sprinklers are on a timer, it is just safer to turn those off until the temperatures increase.

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