NTTA Working Around the Clock to Treat Tollways

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North Texas Tollway Authority is currently conducting around-the-clock shifts as crews treat area roads until the winter weather event is over.

"We understand that there are people who have to get out there, other emergency responders and whatnot -- they have jobs to get to. And we're going to make the roadway as safe as we can," said Michael Rey, a spokesman for NTTA.

NTTA laid down a heavy salt mixture on the roads before the winter storm rolled in, which helped create a brine on the roadways to further prevent freezing.

"They will be loaded down with a magnesium chloride, which is a very heavy salt. And we'll start getting that down on elevated surfaces first and foremost, and then they'll start to work the main lanes after that," said Rey. "We know that any elevated surface does not have insulation beneath it. So it tends to get cold quick and freeze first."

NTTA also has sensors on the roads that help them track conditions in real-time, along with more than 1,000 cameras to help visually monitor the roads.

"Our goal is to keep one single main lane open, and then we constantly improve on that we make sure that is safe. And then if we can widen out the roadway, if you will, we will do that," said Rey. "But we want to keep the entire system open. And that is our goal. And again, we'll be out on patrol throughout this event. We'll be out on patrol throughout this event. We did it for 10-11 days last year. So we are well equipped to deal with this."

They can see the ground temperature, whether the road has frozen over, and which type of precipitation has developed on the road.

"So that helps us get trucks -- like smaller trucks with plows or sanding units -- out to trouble spots that we want to get extra attention to. And that will help us throughout the system," Rey said.

Drivers are being urged to stay home if possible and they do have to head out, to drive slowly.

"There's no reason to be driving fast in these conditions, they just they're not set up for your vehicle. It's incumbent upon drivers to adapt to the situation. We've got weather that is very slippery, very dangerous. So you really have to slow down," said Rey. "Drivers have to take it upon themselves to slow down, no sudden moves on the roadway. Keep in mind, your braking distance, your distance between other vehicles on the roadway has to be much, much greater because it takes a long time to stop in these conditions."

If drivers have car trouble on an NTTA toll road, you can call #999 or 911 to be connected to NTTA's emergency dispatch facility. Road crews and state troopers are on standby to send help.

NTTA also posts active incidents and crashes onto their Twitter page.

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