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TxDOT Preps For Winter Weather This Weekend

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - With the threat of sleet and maybe even snow in North Texas Sunday night and into Monday, the folks that keep our roads clear spent much of Friday preparing for their first possible test of the winter season. We’ve ordered stockpiles for the season.

“Our maintenance crew has already looked over the equipment and calibrated all the equipment,” said Val Lopez, the TXDOT spokesman for Fort Worth and points west.

The nine-county western district, stretching from Fort Worth to Palo Pinto County, seems to get the bad weather first, so its 135 trucks and 200 drivers and suppport personnel are primed and ready.

“We’ve ordered stockpiles for the season, we’ve serviced, maintained, and calibrated our winter weather vehicles,” said Lopez. “We’ll very carefully monitor the weather and see if we can pre-treat if that’s available to us. Pre-treatment is (that) we put a liquid product on the roadway that prevents ice from bonding to it. The issue with that is, if we have too much precipitation, it could wash it off. So it’s a balancing act determining how much we can put and when.”

Similar precautions for TxDOT in Dallas and eastern counties, according to the spokeswoman for that district, Michelle Raglon.

From its command center it can dispatch up to 185 trucks and 345 employees if needed. It, too, will look closely at overhead roads. “The bridges and overpasses will be the first places that we treat,” she said.

Back in Fort Worth, the city is putting last-minute touches on its street fleet. Trucks there will take their cues from spotters who’ll patrol city streets beginning Sunday. Looking closely at their efforts will be some school districts. Though Fort Worth, Dallas, and some districts are off next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, big city schools in places like Arlington, Plano, Richardson or Mesquite have classes Monday and Tuesday, so they’ll have an eye on the sky.

In Arlington, conditions on both roads and at bus stops will be weighed, and any decision to cancel classes will be made by 5:30 a.m. Monday.

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