Southeast Texas prepares for arctic blast

January 5, 2010 11:03:10 AM PST
There are cold weather concerns in the Houston area as the forecast calls for even more frigid temperatures later in the week. Local schools and parents will be monitoring the mercury very closely. There was a lot going on at Houston City Hall Tuesday as city officials were preparing for the cold weather and any problems that may arise.

The Texas Department of Transportation tells Eyewitness News that they will begin sanding overpasses and bridges tomorrow on hot spots, which are areas that freeze over rapidly.

On Wednesday, starting at 9am, maintenance crews in Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Montgomery and Waller Counties will be spraying a magnesium chloride solution on elevated structures to prevent any moisture accumulation from freezing.

Listed below is a list of locations. Crews are also in the process of preparing sanding trucks should they be needed Thursday night.

Brazoria County

  • All bridges and overpasses
  • Fort Bend County

  • All bridges and overpasses
  • Galveston County

  • Bridges and overpasses along IH 45 South, FM 270 at Clear Creek, and SH 146 at Dickinson Bayou
  • Harris County

  • All bridges and overpasses on IH 10, IH 45, US 59, US 290, including the following hot spots:
  • IH 610 East/IH 10 East interchange
  • IH 610 Ship Channel Bridge
  • IH 45 Pierce Elevated/US 59 by George R. Brown
  • San Jacinto River Bridges at IH 10, BS 90, and US 90
  • SH 146 Fred Hartman Bridge and Kemah Bridge
  • IH 45 Southbound ramp to NASA Bypass
  • SH 249 from BW 8 North to the Montgomery County Line
  • FM 1960 from IH 45 East to the Liberty County Line
  • BW 8 East from IH 45 North to US 90, including the direct connectors to the airport
  • FM 2920 at Willow Creek
  • IH 10 West Eastbound HOV flyover to downtown
  • IH 45 North and South direct connector ramps to toll road
  • US 59 South direct connector ramps to toll road
  • Montgomery County

  • All bridges and overpasses, 16-foot and higher, including major overpasses such as SH 242 and SH 336 South and North
  • Waller County

  • All bridges and overpasses
  • Motorists should use caution driving on Wednesday while TxDOT crews and equipment safely spray the magnesium chloride; watch for the caution signs and give workers plenty of room.

    When the weather changes, so do driving conditions. The following information can help motorists drive safely when winter weather strikes.

  • Check the state roadway conditions by calling (800) 452-9292 and stay tuned to local news broadcasts for more information on roadway and weather conditions.
  • Approach bridges, shaded spots, overpasses and turns slowly.
  • Accelerate slowly and increase your following distance.
  • Brake gently in slow, steady strokes to see how much traction you have, and begin braking early when approaching intersections or stops.
  • Use non-freezing windshield washer liquid.
  • Last night the temperatures took a dip, enough to get people prepared for this morning's frosty temperatures. Lots of people bundled up their kids before heading out to school today.

    HISD says they are leaving their heating systems on overnight to make sure campuses will be warm tomorrow morning.

    The Houston fire department is putting out warnings about space heaters and electrical heater safety, which includes making sure you have working smoking alarm.