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Technology Helping Road Crews Prepare For Icy Weather

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) keeps track of its crews and equipment.

Cameras also give the agency an eye on what traffic looks like, and sensors inside the roads digitally report back if they’re wet or dry, and just how cold they are.

The system helps the NTTA decide when to spread magnesium chloride or sand to keep bridges, overpasses and roads from getting too slippery.

Eric Hemphill, NTTA Maintenance Center Director said, “We wait for a little moisture to fall. As the rain will hit the pavement, it’ll get a little bit wet, it allows material to stick, and once it sticks, it starts to dissolve in the wheel path.”

The NTTA started spreading magnesium chloride on its toll road bridges and overpasses Thursday afternoon.

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The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) began pre-treating bridges and overpasses in Denton and northern Tarrant Counties first, and then Dallas and Collin Counties Thursday afternoon.

TxDOT also monitors road conditions, traffic, and it’s crews.

“We have our emergency operations center in action, and we have people strategically placed and our equipment strategically placed so that we have the right equipment at the right place at the right time,” explained agency spokeswoman Michelle Raglon.

Anthony Ferguson, a local bank manager, said he worries about the people who work for him.  “I’m pretty concerned because I have employees who have to get to work, and I have to make sure they’re safe. Obviously, I’m preparing for my own safety.”

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