Honkin' Mad

Icy roads possible in Dallas-Fort Worth

From Dec. 7, 2013 in Haltom City, cobblestone ice on bridges and overpasses makes travel treacherous overnight Saturday as low temperatures continues. TXDOT announced plans to have crews treat the cobblestone ice to make roads safer starting Sunday morning. (Star-Telegram/Ross Hailey)
From Dec. 7, 2013 in Haltom City, cobblestone ice on bridges and overpasses makes travel treacherous overnight Saturday as low temperatures continues. TXDOT announced plans to have crews treat the cobblestone ice to make roads safer starting Sunday morning. (Star-Telegram/Ross Hailey) Star-Telegram

Icy roads are possible beginning early Thursday throughout the North Texas region. Here are some of the steps agencies responsible for the roads are taking to prepare:

Toll roads

The North Texas Tollway Authority will being pre-treating bridges and overpasses Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Crews will load and dispense brine, a saltwater spray solution. The brine dries, leaving a layer of ice protection on the roadway. When rain or sleet falls on the roadway, it mixes with the dried salt and lowers the freezing point of the roadway, tollway authority spokesman Michael Rey said in an email.

This is the first year the tollway authority — which is based in Plano but manages tollways across the region, including Chisholm Trail Parkway in Fort Worth — will try the brine solution, Rey said.

Highways

The Texas Department of Transportation also is preparing to treat bridges and overpasses on highways.

If roads become icy, a good rule of thumb is for motorists to keep three times the normal following distance behind the nearest car, agency spokeswoman Natalie Galindo said.

Also, travel much slower than normal, and carry extra coats, gloves and boots in your vehicle in case you get stranded.

It’s not a bad idea to carry bottled water and snacks, too.

If a driver’s vehicle begins to slide, ease off the gas pedal and don’t try to hit the brakes. Steer gently into the direction of the skid until traction is regained, then gently straighten the vehicle.

Public transit

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority plans to keep buses running, even in the event of icy streets, spokeswoman Joan Hunter said.

The agency, also known as the T, has sanding trucks at the ready to help improve traction on routes, she said. Sidewalks will be sanded at transfer centers.

Riders may experience delays, though, so patience is urged.

The T plans to run a reduced schedule Thursday.

The Trinity Railway Express is running until after New Year’s Eve celebrations end in downtown Fort Worth and Dallas. However, once those parties are over and all train riders have reached their final stop the TRE will shut down for the rest of Thursday.

The T also will operate a Cowboys Coach shuttle service to Thursday’s Cotton Bowl as well as Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys game against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. For more information on Cowboys Coach, visit the T's website.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796

Twitter: @gdickson

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