Highway department prepared for winter weather

Highway department prepared for winter weather

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With the potential winter weather on Sunday and Monday, road crews are taking precautions so this year doesn't turn out like last winter.

Region 8 remembers this time last year.

"I live down at Harrisburg, and the ice storm was so bad we didn't have power for over a week," Jessica Garcia said.

While the sun was out Saturday, Sunday and Monday may look different. Ice may cause bridges and overpasses to be slick.

"There is a prediction of freezing rain and sleet tonight, and it's going to start out with ice," Walter McMillan said.

McMillan, Arkansas Highway Department district engineer, said trucks were out pre-treating roads Friday and Saturday morning.

"This is the first year we have done this as much as we have," McMillan said. "That is a change we have made due to the winter we had last year."

To better prepare, McMillan said he sat down with professionals.

"We have looked at last winter and quite a bit of details and visited with states that have more winter weather than we have, and we have improved our operations," McMillan said.

Those improvements include pre-treating roads before any weather hits.

"What we covered yesterday and this morning, we have covered seven counties, which is the entire district," McMillan said.

For ice, roads are treated with brine, a mixture of water and salt. McMillan said, while they are prepared, he hopes this winter isn't like the last.

"We will hope we won't have to do this too many times, and being already into the tenth of January," McMillan said. "That is probably a good start."

The Craighead County Road Department said they also have their trucks ready for Sunday, in the case the roads do get bad.

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