As winter weather hits Arkansas, City of Little Rock and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department crews are hard at work.
Sand and salt trucks pre-treated the side streets and highways and will battle the weather conditions overnight Wednesday to keep the roads clear for the Thursday morning commute.
In full winter weather mode, Little Rock Public Works crews are running 12 hours shifts, loading trucks with s salt and sand mixture to sprinkle on the streets. The priority is to keep the roads clear and safe.
The mixture is 70% sand and 30% salt, however the AHTD is experimenting with a salt and brine mixture, which is cheaper. The AHTD will see how well it works during this storm and maybe change their ratios in the future.
Operations Manager for the Little Rock Public Works Department, Eric Petty, says they have 10 large sand and salt trucks and 2 smaller trucks. "All of that equipment is up and loaded and has been running all day and will continue to run all night."
Petty says the goal is to keep up with the winter weather. Crews try to stay ahead of what the storm brings.
"They continue until the roads are cleared of any ice."
AHTD workers spent hours leading up to the storm pre-treating bridges and overpasses. Spokesperson Danny Straessle says what's different about this weather event is the freezing rain potential. "When we put a pre-treatment down, we try not to do it too early so the freezing rain doesn't wash the pre-treatment off the roadway."
Petty says the focus now is making sure all that hard work isn't wasted, and crews are asking for drivers to do their part, too. "Give us a chance to clear the roads. Maybe delay if you can going to work in the morning if that's possible if it's real icy."
Straessle says the weather is expected to improve, as will road conditions, Thursday afternoon. "Sometimes it just takes a bit of sunshine and some warmer temperatures to get the roads cleared off."
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