SHA Road Crews Dealing With Icy Conditions In Frederick County

Motorists are urged to ‘take it slow on ice and snow.’



Frederick, Md (KM). It was plowing and salting roadways during the day on Wednesday. But the State Highway Administration says it’s crews are now dealing with ice on the roads in Frederick County.  . “We had to continue to patrol for these wet spots on the roadways and pavements because anything has the potential freeze once the sun goes down,” says spokesman Charlie Gischlar. He says that’s what personnel have been doing during the overnight and early morning hours in Frederick County and other jurisdictions.

He says the ice is all over the county, but it’s especially a  problem in the South Mountain area and in the dip along I-270 near the Frederick and Montgomery County line.

SHA has been using infrared sensors to keep up to date on where there icy patches are located. “They can tell where a roadway is about to freeze over,” says Gischlar. “What happens, is we apply salt. As things begin to melt, that salt becomes diluted and it’s not as effective; and then you got the freezing temperatures. It will alert us that there’s icy conditions possible, and we can go and strategically tackle an issue.”

He says SHA used to embed  these sensors in the roads. But now these sensors  are located in weather stations along the highway which can shine a beam on the roadway, and that  helps locate the possible icy patches.

In addition to the ice, the county could be facing windy conditions which will affect  the roads. “There are trees that were impacted from that storm we had a few weeks ago, weakened if you will. And now you add that heavy wet snow on top of it with winds. And we’re already starting to see that in some areas in Montgomery County, not far from the Frederick County line,” he says.

The weather forecast for Frederick County  on Thursday and Friday calls for party sunny skies with wind gusts between the mid to upper 20’s.


By Kevin McManus