AR road crews prep for storm

BONO/PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department started preparing for Ice Storm 2013 Wednesday morning and are on standby for throughout the night.

At 7 a.m. road began pre-treating the highways with salt and magnesium chloride in the counties in District 10, which include Lawrence, Randolph, Clay, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, and Mississippi Counties.

According to the National Weather Service, one quarter to one-half of an inch of ice will accumulate in Lawrence, Randolph, Clay and Greene Counties, and less is expected in the remaining counties in District 10.

District Engineer Walter McMillan said the 15 to 20 people on crews for each county will begin salting the most heavily traveled roads and highways at midnight or earlier if needed.

"Those are normally your four lane divided highway interstates, Highway 63, U.S. highways, and major state highways like Highway 18 from Jonesboro to Blytheville, 135 from Paragould up to Corning, and we start out with our concentration on those highways."

In addition to the main highways, bridges, curves, overpasses that are part of the statewide primary highway system will also be the initial focus when crews report to work for 12 hour shifts.

McMillan said the Transportation Department keeps 2,500-3,000 cubic yards of salt stocked regularly, but he does not expect crews will need to use the entire stockpile.

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