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Work ongoing for road crews

Work ongoing for road crews

Officials urge drivers to use caution again

January 17th, 2018 by Lori Dunn and Karl Richter in Texarkana News
A Jeep navigates the partially frozen Park Road Tuesday near the Wright Patman Lake Dam. Any snow or ice melted by sunshine Tuesday was expected to refreeze as night fell, causing officials to recommend staying off the roads again today.

A Jeep navigates the partially frozen Park Road...

Photo by Danielle Dupree

State and city crews expect to continue their efforts to make icy roads safer through today, spokesmen said Tuesday.

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With temperatures expected to remain below freezing Tuesday and drop into the teens overnight, little change was expected in dangerous road conditions. Any snow or ice melted by sunshine Tuesday was expected to refreeze as night fell, causing officials to recommend staying off the roads for a second consecutive day.

The Texarkana, Texas, Public Works Department planned to continue spreading sand on overpasses and other trouble spots Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, department Director Dusty Henslee said.

Both Texas Department of Transportation and Arkansas Department of Transportation spent Monday night and Tuesday maintaining roads with plows to remove snow, salt brine to slow freezing and sand to increase traction.

TxDOT crews working 12-hour shifts focused efforts on bridges and overpasses, ramps, inclines and intersections, said Marcus Sandifer, Atlanta district public information officer.

ARDOT was successful in getting ahead of the storm, with Monday's dry conditions ideal for salt brine treatment, said Public Information Officer Danny Straessle.

Crews spray the brine, a saltwater solution, on road surfaces expected to have icing problems, where it dries. As rain and snow fall on the road, they mix with the brine, lowering their freezing temperature.

"Our pre-treatment efforts paid off," Straessle said, calling Interstate 30 and Interstate 49 conditions near Texarkana "pretty good."

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Texarkana, Texas, Police Department had worked six injury car accidents and numerous minor accidents, many more than is usual, Public Information Officer Shawn Vaughn said. Officials are urging drivers to stay off affected roads if at all possible until a thaw.

"We had one major accident early this morning that State Police worked, But the roads are still slushy and messy now," a dispatcher for the Miller County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday afternoon.

Miller County Emergency Services Director Terry Purvis said conditions could have been a lot worse Tuesday but were still bad enough to require extreme caution on roads.

"The roads seen to be melting since the sun came out, but if you have to get out, go slow and use caution," he said.

"The caveat to all this will be tonight and in the morning when the wind chill is down to four degrees. After this, we should see a warming trend," Purvis said.

Some area counties also received several inches of snow and saw some hazardous road conditions.

In Hempstead County, sheriff's deputies worked several minor accidents but nothing major.

"We have had a few vehicles sliding off in the ditch. Some county roads still have ice and snow on them," Deputy Keith Sullivan said.

Deputies in other Southwest Ark., counties also worked a few minor accidents but reported no major injuries.

Cass County Sheriff's Office in Northeast Texas also reported no injuries.

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