TxDOT Ready To Battle Winter Weather - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/14/07

TxDOT Ready To Battle Winter Weather

A major concern with freezing temperatures is the possibility that bridges and over passes will ice over.  TxDOT tells NewsChannel 11 they're keeping a constant eye on conditions, and starting next week, they'll have more roads to check on.

Friday afternoon we saw several trucks monitoring the roadways, and staring next week they'll also have to make sure the overpass at the West Loop 289 and the Marsh Sharp Freeway is clear, because the main lanes over the loop are scheduled to open to traffic for the first time on Monday.

"Just another stage, another step in the completion of the freeway process," Penny Mason from TxDOT said. 

On Monday, drivers should be able to take the main lanes of the Marsha Sharp Freeway over the loop.

"Motorists will be able to drive from I believe about Milwaukee to Slide Road, and we'll only have on stop light they'll have to stop at," Mason said. 

With freezing temperatures settling in across the South Plains, that means road crews will have one more location to monitor, but TxDOT tells us they're ready.

"Absolutely, that's one of the first things we do, when we hear that there's a possibility of inclement weather, our maintenance crews get all the equipment prepared, and then we make sure that we have what we need in inventory to take care of primarily our high priority highways first," Mason said. 

Crews will also have some new tools to help them this winter.

We told you about new alert signs that should start popping up along South Loop 289 soon. They can warn folks about any winter weather dangers, and when icy weather hits, the Marsha Sharp Freeway fly-overs will fight back.

"The new anti-icing system that has been built into the fly-overs," Mason said. 

That's right, the system works almost like a yard sprinkler, spraying de-icing solution on the road, but to make sure drivers stay safe, they won't be able to take the fly-overs for at least a few more weeks.

"We have to make sure the anti-icing system is up and running, and that includes making sure it's working properly, so we have to do lots of testing," Mason said. 

She tells us the fly-overs could be open by the end of this year or early next year.

Again, the main lanes of the freeway that go over the loop are scheduled to open on Monday.

 

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