Road Crews Ready To Handle The Ice

Thursday, January 24th 2008, 11:27 pm
By: News On 6

The threat of ice always puts Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews on high alert.  They're monitoring weather reports and they've already started to put down the first lines of defense.  News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports it only takes a small amount of ice for a road to become dangerous.

While the storm may not pack the punch first expected, ODOT is still preparing for the worst.

"Mother nature is not very kind when it comes to ice. You just have a thin layer of water and as soon as it freezes it's a skate rink," said ODOT's Martin Stewart.

The slip and slide and can be deadly.

"It's that thin layer that really gets us," added ODOT's Martin Stewart.

But, ODOT says it has a plan of attack and it starts with Magnesium Chloride. It's basically an anti-icing agent that they use to pre-treat the roads.

"It is put down prior to the storm.  It could be hours.  It could be days prior to the storm.  It just creates a barrier between the ice and the concrete or the asphalt," said ODOT's Martin Stewart.

ODOT sprayed the mixture on bridges and overpasses in Rogers County Thursday afternoon.  Tulsa County was next, but the game plan changed.  Now crews are relying on sand and salt to keep you safe.  They say the combination should be enough.

"We do ask that drivers be patient with us.  We're just trying to make their traveling a little better and a little safer if the storm does actually hit," said ODOT's Martin Stewart.

ODOT says 22 sand trucks will hit the road at 3 a.m. Friday morning.  They say if you happen to see one of them, do not attempt to pass them because it interferes with the process.