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Possible freezing temperatures and precipitation could mean icy roads

In the next few days El Paso can experience freezing temperatures and the possibility of precipitation.

The combination could make for icy conditions on the road.

The city and the Texas Department of Transportation are working to reduce the dangers for your commute.

“We already know where we’ll be hitting with salt and sand throughout the city,” said Richard Bristol, interim director of the streets and maintenance department.

Bristol explains the city’s snow and ice plan.

“Our first priority are hospital routes. We want to make sure any access point to a hospital is sanded and de-iced so they can get in if they need to,” Bristol said.

Bristol said they also want first responders to have clear roads to be able to tend to emergencies.

“Our fire stations located throughout the city … we want to make sure they have a path from the station to a major arterial,” Bristol said.

Another priority for the city is making sure there isn’t ice on bridges.

“A bridge and an overpass … the air runs underneath it. It can get a lot colder than the ground so that’s our second priority,” Bristol told ABC-7.

City officials will also de-ice any roads TXDOT or emergency crews deem hazardous for drivers.

TXDOT crews are preparing for icy roads as well.

“We are working 12-hour shifts for the next several hours so that we can get out there and put brine on all of the major highways in the El Paso district,” said Jennifer Wright, spokesperson for TXDOT.

Brine is a solution crews spread on road that helps prevent ice from forming.

“We are going to start at Anthony Exit 0 and we are going all the way to Sierra Blanca and coming back,” Wright said.

That’s about 220 miles both ways and while the two agencies are ready to make the roads safer they also stress the importance being extra careful on icy roads.

“Freezing and rain conditions are very dangerous so we caution anyone to drive carefully but our No. 1 priority is the safety of the traveling public,” Bristol said.

The brine solution TXDOT is spreading will stay on the road until it rains and gets washed off so it can last a few days.

City road crews will be on call 24 hours.

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