MDOT advises drivers to stay off roads due to ice

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced drivers should stay off the roads in District 7 and northern District 6 counties until further notice due to ice on roadways.

According to MDOT, a majority of roadways throughout the districts are considered passable, but dangerous for the traveling public. The bridge over the Pearl River on State Route 44 in Marion County has been closed, along with the Natchez flyover bridge in Adams County.

Some MDOT crews from D6 are assisting D7 crews as they continue monitoring and treating some of the roadways and bridges. However, the effectiveness of those treatment measures decrease exponentially as the temperatures remain below freezing.

On Tuesday, crews plowed highways to remove ice left by freezing rain and sleet. They’re focusing on interstates and four-lane routes followed by two-lane routes.

Current weather reports from the National Weather Service show another round of winter precipitation moving through Wednesday and Thursday.

MDOT crews will be monitoring highways and placing salt and slag on roadways to help lessen ice formation and increase traction. However, as temperatures drop down into the teens and single digits, salt becomes less effective and roadways could freeze.

For motorists who must drive in winter weather conditions, MDOT offers these safe driving tips.

  • Slow down; ice can be hard to see on road surfaces.
  • Allow more space between the vehicles around you, especially for 18 wheelers and vehicles with trailers.
  • Brake early and gently to avoid skidding, and never slam on the brakes.
  • Avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • Stay alert.
  • Be sure to pack blankets and water in case you become stuck for a long period of time.

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