TxDOT is Prepared for Winter Snow and Ice
Equipment, supplies and crews readied in advance of inevitable winter weather
DALLAS COUNTY – Long before the temperatures outside began to fall TxDOT maintenance crews began implementing plans in preparation for winter’s worst weather, snow and ice; however, continued reductions in available transportation revenue is greatly limiting the resources TxDOT can put on the road to ensure North Texas highways remain open and safe during winter storms.
“When developing plans it is very difficult to balance the potential frequency and severity of winter storms against our limited available resources” said Bill Hale, Dallas District Engineer.
“We have over 10,000 lane miles of roadway to monitor and maintain, and only 135 pieces of snow and ice equipment. Many drivers may never see our crews, but I can assure you, if we have a storm they will be out there, working hard and doing their best to keep the roads open and safe for all Texans.”
What is TxDOT doing?
To maximize limited resources, TxDOT has developed various strategies, including:
- · Maintaining on-hand materials (salt, sand, de-icer) at 4 day storm event levels
- · Shifting available personnel, equipment and materials to affected areas
- · Focusing efforts on keeping at least one lane (right lane) open on primary highways and roads
Maintenance drivers, mechanics and support personnel have been hard-at-it installing, servicing and calibrating vehicles and heavy equipment in preparation for emergent winter storms. Priority routes have been determined and crews are on standby ready to work 12-hour shifts to keep as many roadways open as possible.
What can the public do?
North Texas drivers can help the cause if they:
- · Delay trips that are not absolutely necessary
- · Allow more time if you must travel
- · Remove snow and ice from vehicles—make sure headlights and taillights are visible
- · Drive with caution; slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking―it’s not worth endangering yourself and others to save a few minutes
- · Keep a safe driving distance (approximately 500 feet on highways)
- · Approach shaded surfaces, curves, bridges and overpasses as though they are icy
- · Avoid using cruise control and overdrive on automatic transmissions
- · “Know before you go” For online road conditions, including traffic cameras, visit http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions2.htm. For weather website, visit www.weather.gov.
- · “Know on the road” For current traffic and weather information call 1-800-452-9292, watch for roadway advisories and travel time information on electronic message signs and tune into local highway advisory radio stations. Stranded motorists should call the Texas Department of Public Safety at 1-800-525-5555.