City of Dallas prepares for icy road conditions with new strategy
The City of Dallas is taking a more proactive approach when it comes to dealing with icy roads this winter.
The Department of Public Works will begin using a brine pre-treatment in its future winter weather operations. This new maintenance process will add an extra layer of protection against icy roads on top of existing plans, city officials said.
“Given the ice events we've had in the last few years, we want to do something proactive versus just the reactive sanding that we do after the fact,” assistant manager Robert Perez told the city’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week.
In the past, the city relied on de-icing, using pre-wetted rock salt or chemicals on roads after they had already frozen. Now, Dallas public works crews will add pre-treatment before snow and ice conditions.
The brine solution will protect roadways from freezing because it has a lower freezing point than pure water, city officials said. The treatment will reduce or remove slippery surfaces and help keep roads open. The city says brine treatment will be cost efficient and more environmentally friendly than other options because it uses less salt than other de-icing techniques.
Council Member Omar Narvaez, who chairs the transportation committee, asked if this treatment will be used on Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus routes and rail routes to avoid service shutdowns.
Last year, DART shut down for the first time in the agency's history because of icy road conditions that affected its rail and bus operations, which caught some council members off guard.
Perez said the treatment will be used for DART bus routes but not its rail routes. The city's public works crews will also prioritize bridges, overpasses, inclines and intersections, and other areas deemed important for public safety, such as hospitals and fire stations
Dallas does not treat TxDOT highways or residential streets unless requested for emergency access for first responders.
Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at email@example.com. You can follow Juan on X @4nsmiley