Road crews brace for freezing temps, black ice

SEATTLE -- Freezing temperatures could make for a messy commute Tuesday morning as drivers deal with the potential for black ice. All the moisture seen on the roads combined with the freezing temperatures make for dangerous driving.

Road crews all over the region have been preparing their de-icers in anticipation of the deep freeze we’re expecting to get Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Those bridges and overpasses are the ones that will get icy first, which is why in Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation is paying close attention to those, even offering an interactive map to show where de-icing has occurred and the surface temperature of those elevated roadways, gathered from sensors that have been placed underneath. SDOT says utilizing those resources will be one way for drivers to protect themselves.

“I think with anyone traveling out and about, it’s cold and slick; they need to be mindful of the conditions, so wherever you are going and no matter who you are getting there, slow, methodical, be careful out there, travel safely,” said SDOT Spokesperson Norm Mah.

Road crews aren’t the only ones bracing for a busy day, but car repair shops are, too. Bothell Import Service Owner Nate Wahl says after snowstorms and a freeze, they expect to see customers needing extensive repairs from not winterizing their cars in time.

“We haven’t had a hard freeze like this in about four years, and a lot of fluids are neglected on vehicles and when that goes past, you can have cooling system problems and you’ll get a radiator leak,” said Wahl.

Wahl says after a hard freeze, they’ll also see many people come in because of a dead battery and rat infestations in cars as rodents seek warm shelter, too. Wahl says rats will often chew through the wires in the engine compartment and do serious damage.