East Texas Residents Urged to Stay off Roadways Sunday & Monday
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation are urging motorists to stay home and stay safe during the forecasted winter outbreak in East Texas. Area roadways are expected to be impacted beginning Sunday and continuing into the coming week.
The Lufkin District, which encompasses 9 counties, currently has 170 employees working 12-hour shifts to monitor and address trouble spots as they arise utilizing more than 125 pieces of equipment. Pre-treatment of roadways began on Friday, Feb. 12.
“We want people to be aware that driving surfaces will freeze and we are doing all we can to prepare the roadways, but even with a brine mixture, if we experience the low temperatures they have predicted, roads will still freeze,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “I don’t think there is enough manpower to cover the more than 7,000 road miles in the Lufkin District with a brine mixture but we are doing our best. We have focused our attention on major roadways, state highways and farm roads, but we should remember that Mother Nature is and will always be undefeated. It is up to us to prepare our homes, our families and ourselves to stay safe.”
Crews will re-treat all major roadways as needed if conditions continue to decline, since additional moisture will re-freeze road surfaces after the initial downfall of snow and ice.
“Pre-treatment with a brine solution can reduce the temperature at which water freezes and assists with reducing the bond of ice to the roadway, but it does not guarantee that ice will not form,” Oaks said. “There will be patches of ice on local roads, even on roads that have been treated. If you must drive, motorists should reduce speed and stay alert. But because this is an unprecedented weather event, TxDOT is urging drivers to stay home and travel only if absolutely necessary.”
Visit drivetexas.org (or call 800-452-9292) for real time road conditions/closures.