TxDOT Crews Tackle Troublesome Ice on Roads

Task Force using motor graders to clear ice from major highways

Texas Department of Transportation work crews are continuing to treat roads across North Texas following Friday's ice storm.

In Tarrant County, extra equipment was brought in from other parts of the state to address heavily iced roads.

After days of car rattling rides along local highways, the problematic cobblestone ice finally met it's match with TxDOT motor graders. Cobblestone ice is very rough, compact ice.

Interstate-35W had been a virtual wasteland of spun out cars and wrecked semi-trucks in northern Tarrant County the last few days.

"I was trying to leave yesterday and 35 was packed all day so I stayed another day," said Benjamin Cole.

Cole was one of the many drivers impacted by the storm and it's aftermath.

"I'm trying to get to St. Louis," Cole said. "I just need to get out of Texas. I get out of Texas then I'm good."

As much as wanted to get his trip going. Cole did stop to help several people stuck in ice and  snow banks. 

"She was way too deep in the snow," Cole said of one woman.

Helping him to get out of Fort Worth were the TxDOT crews working as part of a task force to clear Tarrant County's major highways of the clunky solid ice that's kept traffic frozen for days.

Fort Worth police said the clearing of ice is a two-step process. First the plows will scrape the main roadway and then they will come back to clear on and off ramps of the built up ice and snow.

It's a sight every driver was happy to see.

"It does give me a little relief," Chad Marcum, of Fort Worth, said. "I've been out a little this morning, does seem about 10 times better than the last few days."

And, Marcum would know, as two days ago another driver forced him to spin out and hit a wall along Interstate 30, although he wasn't hurt and his truck didn't suffer much damage either. Since then, he's done as authorities have asked everyone to do.

"I've been off the roads as much as possible," Marcum said. "I wouldn't be out now if I didn't have to get to work."

And with the help of the motor graders and the task force, that's something local road officials hope everyone will be able to do easily by Monday morning.

The task force plans on working on all of Tarrant County's main roads until 6 a.m. Monday, when they hope to be done.

There may be some road closures from time to time and TxDOT is asking drivers to stay off the roads until then. The major roadways being addressed are Interstates 20, 30, 35W and Loop 820.

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