Roads open for travel Thursday

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

Although roads throughout Chilton County opened for travel Thursday morning, Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren urged motorists to use caution when traveling.

“There are still places with ice on them,” Wearren said. “If people are cautious and slow they can make it.”

Wearren said County Road 607 has a steep hill and was causing concern for motorists but the sunshine on Thursday would possibly melt away ice still covering some of the roads.

“The sun is on our side today,” Wearren said.

Wearren said crews started early Thursday sanding bridges with a mixture of sand and gravel due to bridges not having warm ground underneath to keep them from freezing.

“Bridges were our main priority,” Wearren said. “We went out first thing this morning and treated all of the bridges. A lot of them still had ice on them although it wasn’t solid ice.”

With the winter storm blanketing the county with ice and snow on Tuesday morning, Wearren said the county got overwhelmed.

“We basically had to do the best that we could but we don’t possess the equipment or materials to deal with this,” Wearren said. “The crews went to the quarries and got sand and were able to make it back and get around to distribute it, but we had to determine pretty early on that we could only respond to emergency situations as needed by fire and rescue.”

Ice and snow conditions do not frequently hit Alabama so Wearren said it is hard to know what to do differently for future winter storms.

“There is some equipment and materials the road department could invest in such as sand distributor trucks,” Wearren said. “Right now we use dump trucks but there are trucks that go around spraying sand like a fertilizer truck. The problem is the equipment is expensive and we could buy it and have it sit for another five years or so before we use it again. This type of weather doesn’t happen often for us.”

There were several wrecks on Thursday throughout the county including one near the Autauga County line that resulted in a fatality.
Chilton County E-911 posted on their Twitter page Thursday afternoon that although roads were considered open, numerous wrecks occurred Thursday.
Motorists were asked to use caution when driving due to icy spots left on some of the roads.