TxDOT rushes to spray Houston-area elevated roadways


by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News


Posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 5:40 AM

HOUSTON – Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation were frantically trying to finish spraying streets Monday night ahead of an expected drop in temperatures on Tuesday afternoon.

Some 45 TxDOT trucks hit the roads spraying magnesium chloride hoping whatever starts falling from the sky in the next few hours doesn’t stick.

“Everything from interstate highways to smaller fm roads, we want to make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned,” Danny Perez, spokesman for TxDOT, said.

For these crews it’s not a new routine. In fact, they did the same routes just a few days ago.

“The priority of course is going to be overpasses, and bridges and the connectors,” Perez said. “I guess last week was a good precursor to what we are going to face, because this is going to hit us a little harder.”

Officials say it’s not foolproof and with rain expected to come in, they realize some of it will wash away. But TxDOT is hoping to have less car ending up stranded this time around.

“I do remember when I was getting on the overpass at beltway 8 and 290, I was going really slow, and cars started to slide a little bit so I had to go even slower to not slide off,” Trey Meakins, a Houston resident, said.

The best thing to do, authorities say, is to just stay home.

“I’m from Texas, I don’t believe in driving on ice. I don’t’ know how to do it and I don’t’ think other people do either,” Dorothy Woodfin, another resident, said.

But there are those like Chuck Peto, who say they just can’t let the winter weather slow them down.

“That’s what we’ve got to do as cab drives, that’s how we make a living, we drive,” Peto, a taxi driver, said.

Once there is actually ice out on the ground, TxDOT’s trucks will go out and put a sand-like mixture on the roads to help with traction.

But officials are advising people stay off roads as much as possible Tuesday.