TxDOT preparing bridges, overpasses for wintry weather

By Texas Department of Transportation
Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Brownwood District has begun pretreating bridges and overpasses in Stephens, Eastland, Brown and Coleman Counties as a cold front moved into the region Sunday bringing falling temperatures.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for the region anticipates temperatures dropping into the mid to low 30s on Monday through late Tuesday night with the possibility of freezing rain/sleet falling in the northern counties of the Brownwood District.  Although snow is not expected, ice accumulations are possible on elevated structures such as overpasses and bridges.

Crews began pretreating bridges and overpasses in Eastland and Stephens Counties Sunday.  Monday morning the main lanes of I-20 in Eastland County were being pretreated as a precaution.  Structures in Coleman and Brown Counties were also being pretreated. TxDOT will continue to monitor conditions throughout Eastland, Stephens, Coleman and Brown Counties during this winter weather event.

TxDOT uses brine (a solution of water and salt) as a pretreatment for roadways prior to freezing precipitation. The brine is applied using spray nozzles attached to tanks mounted on the back of TxDOT trucks, forming a milky appearance on the roadway. The brine helps prevent the bonding of frozen precipitation to the pavement, aiding in the removal of snow and ice.

Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and check roadway conditions prior to travel. TxDOT reminds motorists to follow these helpful tips when traveling in winter weather:

·       Give yourself time to reach your destination and account for possible travel delays. Have patience and share the road with other drivers. 

·       Drive with caution, reduce speed and increase travel distance between your vehicle and others on the road (at least three times the normal following distance).

· Do not use cruise control or lane assist (a safety feature found on newer model vehicles).

· If you start to lose control, ease off the gas pedal or brakes.  Steer into the direction of a skid until you can regain traction, and then straighten your vehicle.

·And if you don’t have to travel, stay home.

TxDOT roadway conditions statewide are available at DriveTexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292. TxDOT Twitter feeds and the TxDOT Facebook page are also valuable resources for travel conditions across the state.  More winter weather travel information is available on the TxDOT website.