Officials: City of Huntsville road teams prepared to handle potential threat of ice

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- The City of Huntsville is bracing for ice that could come our way later this week. WHNT News 19's meteorologists have detailed that forecast here.

Preston Whitaker, construction superintendent at the City of Huntsville Public Works Department, said equipment is prepped and ready to go.

"All we need... is to figure out what type of event it's going to be, and what personnel, what staff, we will have in place," he said.

Road crews have been doing preliminary surveys since the last winter storm. They're looking at what repairs need to be made after crews bladed and cleared roads earlier. They tell us so far, the cost of labor and repairs is less than a third of what the city of Huntsville saw last year.

Whitaker says construction teams do the best they can to keep people safe on the roads, and that starts with being prepared.

Tuesday, a shipment of 20,000 pounds of rock salt is on the way, bringing the stored total up to 100,000 pounds. Whitaker says the city also has 1,200 tons of gravel mixture on hand, too.

"It's what we put down on a lot of our bridges," he said, commenting that it works well on overpasses and cement.

But there's something you can do to help road crews out when the weather gets rough and roads need their attention: stay off the roads, or drive very carefully if you have to get behind the wheel.

Whitaker explained, "An ice event sometimes is a very difficult one, because it's a time when people might believe that they'll be fine [to drive.] Black ice is hard to see, and accidents happen... when crews go out to work on the streets, imagine how much easier it is to work on the street without a bunch of accidents or emergency vehicles in place."