The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Brownwood District has begun preparations as an approaching cold front is expected to move into the area Thursday, bringing winter weather and high winds.
TxDOT crews are pretreating main lanes of Interstate 20 (I-20) in Eastland County along with other major roadways in Brown, Comanche, Coleman, Eastland, Mills and Lampasas Counties to prepare for possible accumulations of snow or a wintery mix of precipitation.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for the region on Thursday includes an advisory of strong northwest winds of 30-40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Rain is expected in the morning hours, changing to snow with possible accumulations of 1-5 inches in some areas of the Big Country and northwestern Hill Country by late afternoon. Blowing snow may reduce visibility to less than a mile and at times as low as one-quarter mile, making travel difficult and dangerous, according to NWS officials.
TxDOT crews will remain vigilant in treating and removing snow from roadways as needed.
Motorists are urged to be on the lookout for slower-moving TxDOT vehicles involved in the pretreatment process. TxDOT continues, as in recent years, to use brine (a solution of water and salt) as a pretreatment for roadways prior to freezing precipitation. Â The brine is applied using spray nozzles attached to tanks mounted on the back of TxDOT trucks, forming a milky appearance on the roadway. The brine helps prevent the bonding of frozen precipitation to the pavement, aiding in the removal of snow and ice.
Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead and check roadway conditions prior to travel over the weekend. TxDOT reminds motorists to follow these helpful tips when traveling in winter weather:
- Give yourself time to reach your destination and account for possible travel delays. Have patience and share the road with other drivers.
- Drive with caution, reduce speed and increase travel distance between your vehicle and others on the road (at least three times the normal following distance).
- Do not use cruise control.
- If you start to lose control, ease off the gas pedals or brakes. Steer into the direction of a skid until you can regain traction, and then straighten your vehicle.
- And if you don’t have to travel, stay home.
TxDOT roadway conditions statewide are available at DriveTexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292. The Brownwood District Twitter feed (@TxDOTBWD) will be updated as road conditions change. Other TxDOT Twitter feeds and the TxDOT Facebook page are also valuable resources for travel conditions across the state.Â More winter weather travel information is available on the TxDOT website.
TxDOT’s Brownwood District includes Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Lampasas, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba and Stephens counties.