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Little Rock Crews Prep Bridges and Roads For Ice Storm

City trucks are mounted with sand and salt ready to pre-treat bridges and major roadways in Little Rock.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Transportation workers are gearing up to hit major highways, bridges and overpasses before ice forms on the roadways.

The State is deploying about 700 dump trucks to pre-treat 16,000 miles of Arkansas' highway system.

Crews already spread liquid calcium chloride on all Central Arkansas bridges, and Thursday night, the City of Little Rock is getting ready to spread mixture all over their bridges, saying those are the first to freeze.

It's been a busy day of mixing, loading and prepping at one Little Rock maintenance yard, as Eric Petty, with Little Rock Public Works explains.

"We've got all of our chain saws ready, our barricades loaded in our trucks, so we can barricade our streets. If any trees go down or limbs fall in the street, we can get those removed," Petty says. "All of our trucks have been mounted and ready to go. We've mixed a bunch of material, we use two-parts sand, one part salt."

The sand would help with traction, while the salt is used for melting.

About 10 dumptrucks full of the mixture line the facility, ready to be used on the city's roadways Thursday night.

"They will actually be taking the trucks out and start hitting the bridges and overpasses," Petty says. "We don't want to put out the material out too early with the wind, and the rain and the traffic, because then the material gets blown off the street and won't be effective."

Petty split 140 street department workers into day and night shifts so Little Rock's roads can be worked on around the clock.

Those on the night shift are expected to report for duty at midnight, but are also on standby if needed earlier.

"The roads are probably going to get very dangerous. The freezing rain and sleet is going to be very hard to get off the roads, especially with the temperatures we have coming," Petty says.

Little Rock citizens can see just how well all the hard work and preparations have paid off before leaving the house in the morning by checking the road conditions map here.
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