November 23, 2010
Road crews are getting ready for holiday travel, and for them, being prepared means expecting the unexpected. That's why salt trucks were out pre-treating elevated roadways and bridges even though snow and ice is not in the forecast.
"We've had plenty of surprises, weather that came in that we weren't necessarily expecting, or maybe just a bridge frosts up," said Kansas Department of Transportation Spokesman Tom Hein.
And now is not a good time to catch people by surprise, as they make plans for Thanksgiving weekend.
"All of our family's here in Wichita, so we are here for the holidays," said Wichita resident Joni Cassity.
But thousands of other Kansans will take to the roads this week.
"We'd like to have the roads in perfect condition for travelers. You never know..." said Hein.
That's why the Department is pre-treating roadways regardless of the weather.
"Just to have that little bit of preventative insurance out there to make sure we don't find some slick spots," said Hein.
And KDoT crews aren't the only ones already gearing up for heavy traffic. Highway Patrol also has extra enforcement out this entire week.
"When we have a holiday weekend coming up the troopers that are out are focusing on just spending as much time on the road as possible," said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Gary Warner.
Because troopers say increased traffic isn't limited to Wednesday through Sunday. They say Thanksgiving travel has already started.
"Some are traveling today, some will be traveling tomorrow, there may have been some who took the whole week off so they traveled earlier in the week," said Warner.
Those travelers are who extra enforcement and road treatments aim to protect.
As for those staying home? They, of course, don't need to worry much about road conditions either.
"I like that, I don't have to worry about the weather," said Cassity.
KDoT says it pre-treats bridges and elevated roadways almost every Friday during the late fall and winter months. This year, the Department says it started later than normal because the weather has been so mild.