TxDOT and City of Amarillo battle icy roadways
Tue, 06 Dec 2011 00:28:52 GMT —
On Monday, the sky wasn't blue -- it was white!
That's thanks to the cold front that blew through that brought plenty of snow and ice with it. The Texas Department of Transportation and City of Amarillo both had crews out starting at 2:00 a.m. Monday morning, battling the icy roadways.
"TxDOT is concerned about the Interstates number one," said TxDOT Spokesperson, Paul Braun, "the U.S. Highways number two, State Highways and Farm to Market roadways. Putting down bottom ash on over-passes and bridges and ramps and curved areas."
TxDOT is also responsible for taking care of some of the roads that run through downtown Amarillo like Buchanan and Pierce. The City street crews were also out in full force early this morning with all ten of their sand-spraying trucks.
"The main arterials that we run are Grand, Osage, Coulter, Bell, 34th, 45th, Plains, all the main thoroughfares," said the City of Amarillo Street Superintendent, Chris Mitchell.
Factor TxDOT's snow and ice vehicles in with the City's and there were more than 40 vehicles on the roadways all day, plowing snow and laying down sand, salt and chemicals. Those crews, both City and TxDOT, also said they'd work through Monday night and into Tuesday to clear the roadways until they were no longer needed. But, Braun says, that doesn't mean those crews can de-ice every roadway.
"We just can't put material down on every single inch of roadway ," he said. "W e just don't have the material to do that."
Of course, just trucks, sand, salt and chemicals alone are not enough to keep the roads safe. TxDOT and City crews rely on motorists to travel safely and cautiously.
"Watch for our vehicles that are spreading our material and to stay back a safe distance and allow them enough room ," said Mitchell.
"We can only do so much as a maintenance operation ," Braun added. " The drivers have to take it upon themselves to travel with care and caution and maybe not travel at all. "