MDOT preparing highways and bridges for winter weather
By Echo Staff
Jan 27, 2014, 22:42
The National Weather Service (NWS) has forecast a winter weather situation for this evening into tomorrow across parts of central and southern Mississippi, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is actively treating roadways and bridges for the possibility of ice. MDOT advises motorists to make storm preparations today for possible hazardous driving conditions tomorrow.
“MDOT is doing everything possible to prepare for this winter storm event,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT executive director. “We urge motorists to take this storm seriously. While MDOT will make every effort to keep roads and bridges passable when using extreme caution, only emergency travel is recommended in affected areas, especially on bridges and overpasses.”
MDOT encourages the traveling public to pay attention to weather and travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service, local law enforcement and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. MDOT crews will be patrolling the state’s interstates and highways, especially elevated bridges, during the evening and night for ice accumulation, loss of traction and to ensure roadways are safe, but motorists are urged to follow these safety preparedness tips.
· Motorists should watch out for emergency personnel who are working along state roadways in advance of the storm.
· Motorists who must travel in areas affected by this winter weather event need to:
o buckle up for safety,
o drive safely,
o stay alert and
o slow down, especially when driving in winter weather conditions.
· The public is asked to report patches of ice accumulation that could impact traffic to local law enforcement agencies.
· For more information on how weather is affecting travel conditions in your area:
o sign up for travel alerts at www.MDOTtraffic.com,
o “like” MDOT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MississippiDOT,
o follow MDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MississippiDOT or
o download the MDOT Traffic app in the Google Play or Apple App stores.
MDOT is fueling trucks, inspecting snow plows, loading salt spreaders and sharpening chainsaws in preparation for first response to any winter weather conditions. If accumulation is reported on a bridge or roadway, MDOT crews will dispatch equipment trucks to the location of accumulation and spread de-icing materials (a mixture of sand, slag and salt) in those areas.