KBTV FOX 4 - Search Results
TxDot prepares for winter weather
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
When some people prepare for winter weather it means checking out their car and maybe keeping an umbrella handy. It takes a lot more work for the Texas Department of Transportation to prepare.
The department has nine maintenance offices in the region, including one in Beaumont on the Eastex Freeway. Wednesday, crews there loaded three trucks with 10 cubic yards of a deicing material known as freeze rock.
A 1,000 ton pile of the light weight rock sits in the maintenance lot. Once the rock is dumped into the back of the truck and if there's ice on the roads, workers will use the truck to spread the material onto the roads.
When someone drives over it, the rock turns into a powder that increases friction and helps keep vehicles from sliding off the highway. TxDOT will also add another chemical to the mix to help ice melt faster.
Workers said they've only had to use the material two or three times in the past eight years and they're prepared to use it this week.
"You never know, especially right here in Southeast Texas. It could be 70 degrees one day and thirty degrees two days later and so we try to be prepared no matter what," Sarah Dupre with TxDOT's Beaumont District said.
She also said if there's a freeze, drivers are encouraged to stay off the roads. If they absolutely have to drive, she recommends leaving extra room between cars and slowing down.