East Texas prepares for winter weather

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TYLER – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews have pre-treated area roadways and implemented shift work for response to winter storm conditions that could create issues for roads and drivers through at least Monday afternoon. The event could mean slushy snow-covered bridges, overpasses, and primary roadways around the district.
Roadways have been reassessed and where needed treated again ahead of the storm. The first crews report for duty at noon today and will continue to monitor forecasts and inspect road conditions. Maintenance personnel throughout the Tyler District’s eight counties have readied their vehicles and equipment for a night of response. The district includes Anderson, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Rusk, Smith, Van Zandt, and Wood counties.
Interstate 20 and many other roadways were pretreated with brine, a salt water solution, in preparation for the wet, snowy precipitation forecast. Crews will monitor highly exposed areas such as bridges, overpasses, and problem areas susceptible to wind and ice and treat them as needed tonight.
“The storm is predicted to be fast-moving which could minimize the duration that roadways are impacted by the elements, but motorists should be prepared for hazardous Monday morning commutes,” said Kathi White, TxDOT spokesperson. “Keep safety in mind and allow extra time to reach your destinations. We cannot stress enough that if conditions warrant, the best and safest choice is to stay home.”
Motorists are reminded to drive to conditions by slowing down, leaving more space between them and other vehicles, and avoiding icy facilities, where possible. Here are a few more safety tips to help minimize the potential hazards during winter driving:
• Listen to weather broadcasts prior to and during travel.
• Approach bridges, overpasses and turns slowly.
• Remember, a little snow or ice can be just as dangerous as a lot of it.
• During adverse conditions only make necessary trips.
• Plan ahead by allowing plenty of time for travel. Be prepared for possible delays by leaving early.
• Stay back at least 200 feet from vehicles treating or clearing roadways.
• Buckle up and use child safety seats properly.
Visit www.drivetexas.org or call the highway conditions line at 1-800-452-9292 for updated information.

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