Crews shift focus to freezing conditions on roads

February 24, 2011

By Staff

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NEW — 12:50 p.m. Feb. 24, 2011

Temperatures should plummet into the teens Thursday night, raising the threat of freezing conditions on roads in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

In the city, crews are working in 12-hour shifts to keep roads clear, said Steve Roberge, interim public works director. Crews have focused on the city’s priority routes, clearing side streets as conditions allow.

He said the priority routes are clear as of Thursday afternoon.

“All of our main roads are looking good,” Roberge said. “At this moment we’re restocking and starting to hit the smaller streets that aren’t arterials.”

State Department of Transportation leaders deployed more than 200 snowplows and trucks to plow and treat Western Washington roadways.

“Our crews have been working 24/7 shifts to address this late-winter storm by pre-treating roadways and plowing,” Chris Christopher, DOT director of maintenance and operations, said in a release. “We will continue on this schedule over the next 24 hours, particularly to focus on the potential problem of wet roads turning to ice.”

King County Road Services Division crews also deployed for 24-hour operations to combat snow and ice.

Motorists should drive for conditions by reduce speeds, using careful steering and braking slowly; by slowing down and watching for ice near intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady spots; by avoiding the use of cruise control; and by leaving enough room between vehicles. Remember, large vehicles take longer to stop.

King County Metro Transit planners urged riders to check the winter weather website before traveling. Many Eastside bus routes remain on snow routing Thursday.

Sound Transit also offers rider alerts on specific routes throughout the Puget Sound region.

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