Public works prepares for the worst, expecting icy bridges - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Public works prepares for the worst, expecting icy bridges

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Wet weather and freezing temperatures could combine to cause dangerous driving conditions, especially on south Georgia bridges.

Albany Public Works crews are bracing for the worst. They're prepared to be out early tomorrow morning treating bridges to keep drivers safe. Albany Public Works thinks they've got plenty of sand, but ordered an additional 255 tons Friday to make sure their bridges are safe to travel and they'll be watching all 39 bridges for ice.

It's been at least three years since crews have treated Albany's bridges for ice, but that streak could end overnight.

"There's not a lot of traffic in the morning hours to keep the heat and resistance going on the concrete and asphalt the ice tends to start accumulating pretty quickly," said Stacey Rowe, Albany Public Works Street Supervisor.

To deal with the ice, public works crews are prepared to spread tons of sand on Albany's more than three dozen bridges.

"Especially on the by pass at the river bridge when of course the water if flowing under the bridge, it just seems to freeze up quicker on the Flint River Bridge and the Jefferson Street Bridge," said Rowe.

They're asking motorists to slow down. Safety First Driver Instructors say you should never slam on your brakes on an icy bridge.

"If they feel the car start to hydroplaning or in the slide, take your foot off the gas and do not mash the brakes," said Charles A. Wiley, AAAA Safety 1st Driving Instructor.

They recommend not following other motorists too closely and steering against the slide. Five Public Works employees will be on call to deal with the ice and they don't expect the trouble to last long.

"By the time we get activated and start sanding the bridges within a few hours of course our temperatures rise and that's a tremendous help to us," said Rowe.

With help from the sun and the sand, crews expect motorists traveling later in the day shouldn't encounter a problem.

Public Works is encouraging drivers to consider a trip through town tomorrow instead of taking the bypass since there are more bridges on the bypass and it could be more dangerous.

Public Works crews say if they can get an eighth of an inch of sand down on most of the bridge with ice, they'll be safe for motorists to travel.


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