AUSTIN (KXAN) — Crews worked to preemptively treat Austin roads Monday morning ahead of potential freezing rain later in the week, according to a press release by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Work began at 9 a.m. Monday on Interstate 35 and other major highways in the region, officials wrote. “Pre-treating roads in advance of a storm discourages ice from sticking to the pavement,” officials wrote. “Work teams and trucks will then be placed on standby, to respond to ice situations, as the need arises.”
Brad Wheelis, a TxDOT spokesman, said crews used 100,000 gallons of salt water brine Monday to pre-treat 2,000 lane miles of roads in the Austin area.
“The way brine works is it’s a chemical reaction,” Wheelis told KXAN. “If it rains, basically it makes sure that [the water] doesn’t freeze. If we get freezing rain, then it mixes that up and makes it into slush, so that’s easier to drive on. It’s not as slick. You get a traction.”
If you get caught driving on roads covered in ice, transportation officials have some tips for you:
— Use caution on bridges and overpasses since those are the first to freeze
— Slow down and leave at least three car-lengths between you and the car in front of you
— Don’t brake suddenly and avoid using cruise control so you can respond better if you encounter slippery roads
— Check fuel, tires, oil and antifreeze levels in your car
— Make sure heater, brakes and windshield wipers are working well.