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MDOT: stay off Mississippi roads

Photo courtesy of Hannah Hurdle

As winter weather conditions continue to affect highways across the state, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is advising the public to stay off roads with reported icy conditions and to limit travel to emergencies only.

“The issue motorists will be facing this evening is the probability of slush on roadways refreezing,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. “MDOT maintenance crews will continue to respond to the affected areas to ensure Mississippi’s highways remain as safe as possible.”

For a list of Mississippi counties reporting ice on roadways, click HERE. The public should avoid these areas for travel. MDOT crews are working throughout the state to place salt and slag on affected roads and bridges so they remain passable as long as possible.

  • In northwest Mississippi, most major routes are passable, and MDOT crews are plowing routes as quickly as possible.
  • Crews in northeast Mississippi are working to plow major thoroughfares ahead of any refreezing that may occur overnight. One lane of U.S. Highway 72 in Tippah County has been cleared of ice.
  • Ice is being reported on bridges in central and southwest Mississippi.

MDOT crews in the Yazoo City and Vicksburg areas are responding to significant ice accumulation on roads and bridges.

Crews in the Jackson Metro are running in shifts to keep workers and equipment ready to respond safely for both the traveling public and highway workers.

Crews in southwest Mississippi and the Hattiesburg/Laurel area have started pretreating bridges in areas not yet affected by winter weather.

“MDOT crews will be positioned across the state to respond to any areas of concern overnight,” McGrath said. “However, with the temperature staying below freezing, we are asking the traveling public to remain off of the highways and travel only in case of emergencies to allow MDOT workers to do their job in the safest manner possible.”

If travel is necessary due to an emergency, safe driving techniques will assist to “survive your drive” during winter weather. MDOT offers these safe driving tips:

  • buckle up for safety;
  • slow down, especially when driving in winter weather conditions;
  • allow more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you;
  • brake early to allow plenty of time to stop;
  • brake gently to avoid skidding and never slam on the brakes;
  • turn on lights to be more visible to other motorists;
  • do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads;
  • stay alert and look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do; and
  • drive safely.

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