City warns drivers of wintry weather in morning commute


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 11:29 PM

AUSTIN -- In anticipation of yet another winter storm, Austin Public Works is preparing once again.

“We are getting ready in case we get any winter precipitation tonight or early in the morning,” said supervisor Fernando Ortegon, Jr.

Responsible for Austin's roads, bridges and overpasses, Austin Public Works uses dolomite to provide traction.

“Oh, yeah, we're ready. We were here this morning bright and early, ready to go, and same thing tonight,” said Ortegon.

Dolomite is a crushed granite type rock and is said to be environmentally friendly. Austin Public Works starts putting it out as soon as precipitation begins.

“It keeps up with Austin's green slogan,” said Ortegon.

If the area does get another blast tomorrow morning, some drivers say they'll brave it. Others aren't sure.

“The last time we had a lot of problems, I don't know I have to see it,” said driver Jose Neto.

On Jan. 28, there were numerous accidents and shut down roads due to icy conditions. It caught many off guard, starting during rush hour. There is potential that this next storm could do the same.

“I think they're overreacting. Honestly, this is Texas we don't get ice storms,” said another driver.

The Texas Department of Transportation says it pretreated certain areas last night, and they may have to pre treat again tonight. The liquid pretreatment can last two to three days if it doesn't get washed off.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, oversees Highway 183A and phase one of the Manor Expressway. It also treated roads last night, and won't have to again tonight. They're also prepared in the event of ice. Trucks are in place and on standby with granule treatment if needed.

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