TxDOT to start pretreating roads for ice Thursday night

TxDOT truck pretreating for icy roads in 2015. (KXAN Photo)
TxDOT truck pretreating for icy roads in 2015. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As everyone gears up for the New Year’s Eve weekend, the Texas Department of Transportation is monitoring the arctic blast that could bring wintry weather.

Starting Thursday night, TxDOT crews will pretreat Austin highways in case icing occurs this holiday weekend. The crews will start pretreating Interstate 35, then move on to other major highways in the region. TxDOT says they’re working Thursday instead of Friday or Saturday because they didn’t want crews on the roads on busy holiday weekend nights.

Pretreating dry roads in advance of a storm impedes ice or snow from sticking to the pavement.

“We know this is not coming at a good time,” said TxDOT Spokesperson, Diann Hodges. “On New Year’s Eve people are going to be out on the roadway — this is why we really want to make sure we treat our major roadways.”

The First Warning Weather Team says there is a low but possible chance of some precipitation accompanying and following the front Sunday and Monday. If it is falling through freezing air, or onto freezing surfaces, a wintry mix will be possible, potentially creating a threat of icing on roads. Current consensus is that the rain should end before temperatures drop low enough to support wintry precipitation.

As the cold blast moves through, TxDOT will have crews on standby in case winter precipitation occurs.

TxDOT crews in North Texas are already starting the process of putting down the brine solution.

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