TxDOT Prepared for Wintery Weather - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/9/08

TxDOT Prepared for Wintery Weather

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Lubbock District's 18 maintenance sections have been busy preparing vehicles and equipment for the 2008 winter season. Snow plows, material spreaders, safety lighting, and other necessary equipment are ready to safeguard the traveling public and roadways against ice and snow conditions.

"TxDOT uses a magnesium chloride product on our intersections, bridges and major roadways. This material is a more environmentally friendly product that is less corrosive than salt to vehicles and bridge structures," said Tracy Cumby, district maintenance administrator.

Granular magnesium chloride and sand or salt is also used in rural areas with less traffic, Cumby adds. This material combination enhances traction to help traffic stop easier at intersections and to aid in vehicle traction.

"When addressing snow and ice conditions, we prioritize our roadways. Our Lubbock County maintenance forces tackle higher volume roadways, such as interstates, US and State highways, first. Loop 289 is also on our priority list," Cumby continued. "In more rural areas, we concentrate on clearing the roads that lead in and out of small communities and connect with major highways. Our maintenance staff works around the clock to monitor and clear the roadways."

TxDOT's Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) TransView, will also be an integral part of monitoring roadways along South Loop 289. The Lubbock District recently launched a Web site for TransView. The site will allow the public to monitor traffic conditions on South Loop by viewing time lapse snapshots taken by nine cameras posted at locations along the Loop.

To access TransView (click here), then click on Road Conditions, then Traffic Cameras.

The cameras, installed in November of 2007, provide real-time information used by TxDOT's and the City of Lubbock's Traffic Command Centers to craft messages to the traveling public about road and traffic conditions on the systems Dynamic Message Boards (DMS)

The safety of the traveling public is a TxDOT priority, and we respond to snow and ice situations as quickly as possible.

Motorists can also do their part by driving carefully and:

  • Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses.
    These are the first to freeze.
  • Reduce speed and drive with caution.
    A vehicle needs at least three times more space to stop on a slick roadway. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
  • Be patient.
    Your trip time-including short commutes to work-could increase when adverse weather conditions exist.
  • Winterize vehicles before traveling during adverse weather.
    Check fuel, tire, oil, and antifreeze levels. Make sure heater, brakes, and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.

Motorists can also call TxDOT's toll-free highway conditions line at (800) 452-9292.

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