TxDOT responds to concerns over untreated roads

By  | 

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- The Texas Department of Transportation said they were just following protocol by not pre-treating the roads before Tuesday night's storm.

But Texomans said they are concerned with this decision since the roads iced over and caused dozens of crashes. One driver said he thinks TxDOT acted too late.

"They were probably thinking that it was just another day in Texas, they let the ball drop," driver Gabriel Campos said.

Tuesday afternoon, TxDOT told us they weren't pre-treating the roads for the winter weather, but urged drivers to be careful.

"Drive the speed limit and put both hands on the wheel," TxDOT's Tim McAlavy said Tuesday afternoon.

A few hours later, weather conditions got worse. Highway 75 was shut down as ice-coated roads caused crash after crash and at least two fatalities.

"All the bridges, they were iced over," Campos said.

Gabriel Campos saw firsthand how quickly the roads iced over and the damage it caused.

"I don't know why they waited so long to put gravel on these bridges," Campos said.

In the past, they've treated roads before the weather hits. But TxDOT's Tim McAlavy said this time they followed standard procedure.

"Our protocol for treating roads is based on what we hear from the National Weather Service," McAlavy said.

Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service put out a warning predicting icy patches on bridges and overpasses.

"It wasn't as bad as everybody was making it out to be," McAlavy said.

McAlavy said they thought since the ground had not been cold, they would only respond when the weather hit.

"We did treat as needed once it became clear that the roads were becoming icy," McAlavy said.

By that time, dozens of wrecks had already happened.

"Learn from every weather event," McAlavy said.

McAlavy said they won't be changing their procedures after this event.

"They see it coming in the forecast, just do it just because, instead of sitting around waiting for something like that to happen to somebody, it's terrible," Campos said.