Crews prepare for icy conditions

Crews prepare for icy conditions

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State and local road crews as well as law enforcement agencies are preparing for what could be an icy night.

Seventy employees with the Austin Public Works Street and Bridge Operations were put on-stand by Thursday in case conditions turn icy overnight.

Public works crews wrapped up loading dump trucks Thursday afternoon. Fourteen trucks, filled with dolomite, which is stronger than sand, are ready to roll if icy conditions develop. The plan is for three two-man crews to patrol Austin roadways. If they find a bad spot, the big trucks will be called in. The team could be in for a lot of overtime.

"Hopefully not, hopefully the weather will stay to the south and to the north and leave us alone but if it comes we'll be ready," said Ortegon.

Extra police patrols will also take place.

"If people are more aware of their driving in the roadways and slowing down and give them more difference there may not be issues that we anticipate," said APD Cpl. Chad Martinka.

Commuters got an early taste of what can happen. Wrecks took place under the 290 flyover near Highland Mall after TxDOT pretreated the area with de-icer overnight. The liquid can keep elevated sections from freezing up but can also be slippery for those who drive on it too quickly. Motorists are urged to slow down and if possible avoid driving during the early morning hours.

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