Iowa DOT treats icy roadways - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa DOT treats icy roadways

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Slick roadways made for some tricky travel this afternoon. Many eastern Iowans slipping on the icy sidewalks this morning as freezing rain started to fall.

The Iowa Department of Transportation was working for most of the morning and afternoon to treat roads as they became icy. Waterloo's DOT had all 30 of their plows out, doing their best to keep roads from freezing.

"If you don't need to be out, I wouldn't be out," said Barry Thede, Iowa DOT.

The wintry mix kept Thede and his team busy.

"It didn't take long this morning for everything to freeze right over real quick in a matter of 10 minutes of driving down the road so we are just going to keep after it, keep treating," said Thede.

Crews loaded their trucks with salt and brine and headed out to highways and main roads, hoping to keep them from becoming ice skating rinks.

"We are trying to get to a point right now where we are tying to get a freeze dry," said Thede. "If we can get a little bit of moisture in it with the wind and the traffic it will help dry it up before the snow hits here, so we are hoping as the temperatures drop that we can get the roads dry before it does freeze up."

The Iowa DOT says when deciding if they are going to use brine, salt or sand it all depends on the temperature.

"Later on this afternoon if it drops or gets way cold this afternoon we are probably going to have to go over it with sand if the salts not working anymore so that people just have traction, but people need to know that even though the road might look dry it's probably pretty icy," said Thede.

Crews revisited the roads every hour or so to retreat where salt may have blown away, or where the brine wore off.

"We can only make so many laps around here, but it doesn't take long for that material to ware off with the traffic and they refreeze on you," said Thede.

The DOT says crews will continue to work tonight to keep roads as clear as possible, they urge drivers to take it slow. As a reminder to drivers, bridges and overpasses can be especially slick, since they tend to freeze before other road surfaces.

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