Icy roads cause traffic issues during Friday AM commute

By Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor, Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor

HOUSTON - Roads were wet, slick and icy Thursday night and into Friday morning for the first snowfall Houston has seen in 8 years. 

TxDOT brought in extra crews to help monitor and be on standby for the snow event. The department waited to treat the roads until conditions became less wet.

VIDEO: Sky 2 over snow day crashes on Houston highways

With the snow, cold winds and dropping temperatures TxDOT warned drivers to be wary of overpasses, bridges, connecting ramps and any other elevated roadways.

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"High elevated places, we look for those--of course we look at bridges such as the Fred Hartman, the Galveston Causeway--our large bridges over large bodies of water," said Danny Perez with The Texas Department of Transportation. "There is air flow underneath and they tend to accumulate ice quicker than surface roadway so that's why we monitor those on a regular basis. We have hundreds of cameras in the Houston area."

Those elevated areas proved to be very problematic for drivers as there were several accidents along the elevated interchanges all along the Sam Houston Tollway.

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"It's dangerous. You got to be careful. You expect going to work you'll have no problems, and then you hit that patch of ice and then man you're in a wreck, and it kind of ruins the day," said driver Richard Sosa who waited in traffic by I-10.

I-10 and the Grand Parkway was closed for hours until around 10:45am due to a car crash and 18-wheeler stuck. The 610 and 59, ramps were closed for another wreck.

On the Sam Houston Tollway, most  if not all of the major interchanges were closed for either precautionary purposes or due to accidents.

TxDOT officials urged drivers to slow down, avoid driving with distractions, avoid following to closely and to allow for more time in their morning commutes. Around 8am, condition started to improve: roads were drying up, cars were moving along.

Though the snow started to melt, TxDOT officials urged drivers to continue to drive snow and be careful.

"Watch out for residual patches of ice or icy conditions," said Perez.

Here is a list of the roads that had ice on them earlier Friday, according to Houston TranStar:

  • IH-45 NORTH HOV Southbound At PARRAMATTA LN    
  • IH-69 EASTEX HOV Southbound At LOOP 494/MC CLELLAN    
  • US-290 NORTHWEST Eastbound At Grand Parkway/ SH 99    Exit Ramp
  • US-290 NORTHWEST HOV Eastbound At ELDRIDGE PKY    
  • FM-1489 Northbound At IH-10 in Waller County    
  • FM-2978 Northbound At HUFFSMITH KOHRVILLE RD    
  • FM-359 Northbound At IH-10 in Waller County

Several METROBus routes will be delayed as result of the lane closures.

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