TxDOT preparing for arctic cold front

Special to the Bulletin
Texas Department of Transportation

Beginning Tuesday night, an arctic front with below freezing temperatures is forecast to move into the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Brownwood District.

Crews have begun prepping and staging equipment, treating major state maintained roadways and structures, and will monitor conditions around the clock. The Brownwood District includes Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Lampasas, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba and Stephens Counties.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast expects this front to move slowly bringing freezing temperatures across the entire state for several days. Tuesday night, along I-20 and north of the interstate, a light freezing drizzle may occur, causing slick spots on overpasses and elevated structures.

Wednesday night into Thursday, frozen precipitation is possible throughout the district. Saturday and Sunday could see temperatures drop to single digits in Eastland and Stephens Counties. Snow may be possible in some areas of the district on Monday, February 15. Freezing temperatures may remain through the middle of next week.

TxDOT crews are currently treating major roadways and structures in anticipation of frozen precipitation. Use caution when driving near work convoys. Crews will continue to monitor and de-ice any areas of concerns throughout this weather event. 

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. 

• Make sure every person has their seat belt buckled and that child passengers are secured properly in safety seats.

• 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 apply brakes suddenly on slippery roads.

* Turn off cruise control and lane assist in newer vehicles.

* Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses, as temperatures can be colder on elevated surfaces.

* Slow down when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, especially when their flashing lights are on. The law requires drivers to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching a snowplow, and never pass on the right. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.

* Winterize vehicles before travel in adverse conditions.  Check fuel, tire, oil and antifreeze levels.  Make sure brakes and windshield wipers are working properly.

* If you don’t have to travel, stay home.

* Weather can change quickly, so travelers are encouraged to check roadway conditions prior to travel.

TxDOT roadway conditions statewide are available at DriveTexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292. The Brownwood District Twitter feed (@TxDOTBWD) will be updated as road conditions change. Other TxDOT Twitter feeds and the TxDOT Facebook page are also valuable resources for travel conditions across the state.