TxDOT denies northern bias when clearing Dallas highways

Icy road

Credit: WFAA

Motorists at this Dallas interchange pulled over to wait for sand trucks.

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 1:09 PM

DALLAS — The Texas Department of Transportation says no one is getting special treatment when it comes to taking care of roads in icy conditions.

But that's not always how it feels to motorists, as TxDOT clears some major freeways more quickly than others.

With little or no sand treatment on Interstate 35E at Pleasant Run Road in DeSoto, the accidents just kept coming, leading to a tanker-truck accident and a fuel spill.

By looking at TxDOT traffic cameras, it wasn't hard to find trouble spots in southern Dallas, leading to the question: Has the agency given more attention to the northern part of the city than the southern part?

"Let me say this. The Dallas district has its forces spread out equally all up and down the district," said TxDOT spokesman mark Pettit.

But US 75 at the treacherous High Five interchange at LBJ Freeway looked well groomed around noon.

We looked at cameras showing I-20 at Kelly Elliot; Spur 408 at Kiest Road; I-20 at Hampton Road; I-20 at Wheatland Road; I-35E at Danieldale Road; US 67 at Camp Wisdom Road; and US 67 at I-20.

All are in the city's southern sector; all showed trouble spots.

TxDOT says it committed any additional crews that were brought in to North Texas for Super Bowl week duty to the most heavily-traveled corridors: I-30, I-35E, Highway 183, Highway 114, and US 75.

"Once those start to clear and we get those roads clearing up, we'll move our forces to wherever we have the need," Pettit said. "If that's the south, at the time, then that's where we'll be sending them."

TxDOT is now hoping increased traffic and strong winds can help break up the ice and dry the roads, but this extended operation will continue until Friday when temperatures are finally expected to rise above freezing.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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