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  • Winter weather road prep underway

    Nov 16, 2015 | Read More News
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    Department of Transportation crews broke out the snow plows a bit early this year after weather conditions forced the closure of Catalina Highway leading up to Mt. Lemmon Monday morning, Nov. 16. 

    Winter weather preparation in Pima County is minimal compared to areas up north; nonetheless, DOT does its part to ensure driver safety by treating county roads and local bridges with specialized chemicals. In addition, DOT has crews on call and ready to address winter weather events, including road closures and snow clean-up, and pre-positions snow equipment at the Mt. Lemmon yard for easy access during storm events.

    Anticipating Monday’s storm, DOT pretreated General Hitchcock Highway, also known as the Catalina Highway leading up to Mt. Lemmon, with a chemical freezing point suppressant that includes magnesium chloride. 

    “When highways are treacherous due to icy conditions, magnesium chloride helps to prevent the ice bond, allowing snow plows to clear the roads more efficiently,” said David Cummings, DOT Maintenance Operations Division Manager. 

    Transportation crews also applied this same anti-icing material to all local bridges for the forecasted overnight freeze on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Cummings said each treatment will last several days, sometimes up to one week, but advised that DOT crews will re-apply before each approaching storm. 

    As of Monday afternoon, Cummings informs the Catalina Highway may remain closed due to the upcoming overnight freeze forecast and to prevent any stranded travelers. For more information on Mt. Lemmon road conditions, call the Pima County Sheriff’s road condition line at 520.547.7510.