TxDOT crews on standby for icy roadways - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

TxDOT crews on standby for icy roadways

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

TxDOT has already begun staging equipment in preparation for the winter weather.

Road crews went on standby at 6 p.m. and will begin working in 12 hour shifts if wintry precipitation begins to accumulate.

Officials said their main concern for icy roadways are on bridges and overpasses, largely along and north of Interstate 20.

"The bridges and overpasses are a different animal," said TxDOT's Larry Krantz. "They can freeze over without it being freezing, so a lot of care is required not just to drive on them, but to go out and work on them too. There will be lots of activity on the interstate, lots of activity on toll 49, lots of activities on US highways and state highways."

In the Tyler district, which includes eight East Texas counties, as many as 30 trucks could be out on the road sanding trouble spots. Crews use a mix of what they call "ice rock," which adds traction to the road, as well as "Meltdown 20," which lowers the freezing point of precipitation.

"Thanks to the sunny weather we've had the last couple of days, the ground is going to stay warm enough that I don't think we're going to see icing for at least the next 72 hours," Krantz said.

TxDOT is requesting drivers to pay extra attention on the roadways beginning Thursday night. That means increasing the number of car lengths on all sides of your vehicle and slowing down below posted speed limits to ensure drivers maintain control on slick roads.

Officials said should ice begin to accumulate, they are ready to hit the roads.

"We had a great dress rehearsal about 10 days ago," Krantz said. "It was a good opportunity to shake things out."

TxDOT also maintains both a website and hotline where drivers can check real-time road conditions.

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