Driving conditions have improved, drivers should still use caution

- Many people will be returning to school and work Wednesday, but Austin authorities want to remind everyone to continue to take precautions on the road. 

Icy conditions caused numerous crashes Tuesday morning. A city spokesperson said at one point authorities were responding to 30 crashes at the same time. 

TxDOT said road conditions have since improved and they were able to ramp down active de-icing crews late Tuesday afternoon. One of their sand crews will continue to treat any trouble spots overnight, but with no new precipitation in the forecast they don't expect any new ice. 

However, roads less traveled as well as bridges, overpasses and elevated roadways may still have some patches of black ice. 

“Anytime you have winter weather in Central Texas it's very dynamic and challenging just because we have so many elevated roads. If you think about I-35 downtown, one of our major arterial highways, is for a large part of it an elevated roadway. We have a lot of flyovers here and just determining, with the Hill Country and the rest of the city, where temperatures are across the city could fluctuate just from little point to little point, so pinpointing where the icing is occurring is very difficult,” said Jacob Dirr with the City of Austin office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 

Drivers out on the roads Wednesday should continue to take it slow, increase following distance, avoid speeding up or braking too quickly, don’t use cruise control and always check road conditions before leaving home at www.drivetexas.org.

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