Department of Transportation prepares for winter weather

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Trucker Juan Villarreal said he has seen it all.

"You never know out here," said Villarreal.  "In Oklahoma you have to deal with the black ice.  Texas is the same way because it usually rains and then it freezes overnight and then you have to worry about that black ice."
That's why before he hit the road for Oklahoma from his home base in Dallas, he made sure his big rig was ready.

"One thing to do is always check your tires make sure you got the right air pressure on there," said Villarreal.  "Another thing is to put anti-gel so that your fuel doesn't gel up and you get stranded that way also."

Adele Lewis with the Texas Department of Transportation said crews pretreated roads before to put drivers at an advantage on winter roads.
"It gives us a chance," said Lewis.  "It gives the motorists a jump on the frozen precipitation and keeps the roads from re freezing for a while and it allows us to get out and continue to treat the roads after the snow falls.

"All the bridges and overpasses get hit underneath the overpasses because that is always a shady area.  We do have trouble spots that we will hit and of course we hit the interstate hard this time."

Treating the roads will continue Thursday night.
"All of our supervisors in all 9 counties will be watching the weather tonight and as soon as frozen precipitation starts to fall they will call in our crews to start working and if it is really bad we will start to go on 12 hour shifts."

As for Villarreal, he wanted to make sure he and others stay safe on the road.
"If I don't feel safe I get off the roads," said Villarreal.  "I find me a truck stop, even the side of the road.  I don't ever think that my load is more important than my life or other people's lives."