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Tuesday, January 28

Icy weather freezes construction

All construction projects in Bexar County have been put on hold through Wednesday (meaning they'll go back to action Thursday morning) in order to make all TxDOT hands available for the winter weather that's blown through the area in the last few days.

This happened last week as well, impacting work on Friday. With construction projects shut down last Friday, today and tomorrow (work moved forward as normal through the weekend and on Monday) all TxDOT inspectors and project managers were utilized in efforts to keep the roads as safe as possible for drivers in the metro area.

Some projects in outlying areas, like Kerrville and New Braunfels, were similarly impacted.

Just for those curious, here's a look at the resources reported to have been used in the San Antonio region:
  • 184 employees actually clearing the roads
  • 16 deicing trucks deployed
  • 16 front-end loaders deployed
  • 43 dump trucks to spread sand and chat
  • 36 pickup trucks deployed
  • 2 tandem trucks with sand and chat
  • 4 digital signs mounted on trailers and trucks
Again, that accounts for work done in just the last 24 hours as we worked to keep the roads safely open for traffic. Our priority is to keep roads open - and safe - and our guys did a heck of a job doing that. Just for perspective: our crews were working on the ice issues today beginning at midnight Monday night, and our operations center wasn't called down until noon today. Those folks deserve a hearty congratulations for their work.

At any rate, the biggest impact of ice on construction this week (and last) is the stoppage of work for three days. The decision is based on a desire to keep everyone associated with the project - from the drivers that move through the work zones and the workers on site - safe. The decision was also intended to free up state resources to do that which is most important for San Antonio drivers right now.

In terms of actual project impact, three days is extremely minor. This won't cause any delay on actual work (temperatures were too low to pour concrete or lay asphalt anyway), and work will continue Thursday.

With that, stay safe. Remember, when it's cold and potentially icy:
  1. Reduce your driving speed
  2. Increase your following distances
  3. Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses
  4. Be aware of and stay back from working vehicles clearing and treating roadways
  5. If you start to slide, ease of the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of the skid
  6. Avoid any unnecessary travel