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Blog: Icy conditions force closures of roads, services in Austin area Friday

Here's a look at road closures and services closed by icy conditions Feb. 19.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This blog is no longer being updated. Click here for Saturday's blog.

While the last of the snow has moved out of the Austin area, residual snow and ice are compounded by a Hard Freeze Warning that was issued the morning of Friday, Feb. 19.

Conditions are still treacherous on Austin area roads and many services are also shutting down as the city deals with power outages and cold temperatures.

Many roads are slick. If you must drive, take it slow. If a signal is dark, treat it as a four-way stop.

If you must drive, you can check for road closures on this interactive map.

A look at road and services closures for Feb. 19

11:45 p.m. - Conditions are icy after freezing temperatures returned following Friday's thaw. Overpasses along Research Boulevard from Duval to 620 are iced over, causing multiple accidents.

10 a.m. - The 183A toll is still closed and Cedar Park police said they have crews that are working to make it safe. The police department is urging drivers to stop driving around the barricades.

7 a.m. – U.S. 290 is closed both ways between U.S. 183 and FM 734 due to icy conditions. The entry ramp of U.S. 183 southbound from U.S. 183 northbound is closed due to ice. The entry ramp to U.S. 183 southbound from Ed Bluestein Boulevard is closed due to ice. 

Tips on how to drive in wintry weather

TxDOT said drivers should follow these guidelines to keep themselves and others safe:

  • Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses, as these are the first to freeze.
  • Reduce your speed. A vehicle needs at least three times more space to stop on a slick roadway. Don't apply the brakes suddenly, and avoid using cruise control.
  • Slow down when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, especially when their flashing lights are on. The law requires you to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching crews. Don't pass on the right, and remember visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
  • Be patient. Keep to the main roads and avoid taking shortcuts through territory that may not have been treated.
  • Winterize vehicles before traveling during adverse weather. Check fuel, tire, oil and antifreeze levels. Make sure the heater, brakes and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.

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