November 20, 2020
BROWNWOOD – The Texas Department of Transportation has been working to ready equipment and crews ahead of winter weather. Beginning in early October, crews began working to make sure all winter weather equipment was calibrated and ready for use. As winter approaches, the inventory of supplies is checked and employees are trained to insure they are familiar with the winter weather plan, winter weather event activities, and the staging of equipment.
Due to annual planning and preparations, TxDOT crews were ready and able to manage an early winter weather event that occurred the last week of October of this year. From the northern part counties of the Brownwood District to the panhandle, TxDOT crews worked to keep the roadways safe for motorists throughout the affected portions of our state.
TxDOT staff works to stay informed of inclement weather events that are forecasted for the district and has plans in place to pretreat roadways with a brine solution generally 2-3 days in advance of any forecasted event. The brine solution helps to keep ice from bonding to the roadway, making it easier to remove. During a winter weather event, crews focus on higher volume state roadways first and then work their way onto the lower volume state roadways. Crews rotate on 12-hour shifts to ensure roadways are monitored and any accumulations on roadways and structures (bridges and overpasses) are retreated as quickly as possible during these events.
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.
- Always wear a seatbelt: Every passenger on every ride.
- 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.