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City street crews prepared to deal with cold temperatures

As the superintendent of streets for the City of Jackson, Johnny Weddle’s job is getting more complicated just in time for the holidays.

With an incoming arctic blast expected to come in Thursday night driving temperatures well below freezing, his crew of drivers will be on call 24 hours a day waiting for when their services are needed to put salt on the streets of Jackson or to use the snow plow if necessary.

“Our job in times like this is to get salt to problem areas to make them safe for anyone who may be driving in that area that’s getting dangerous,” Weddle said. “A lot of the time, those areas will be bridges or overpasses, but depending on how much freezing rain and ice we get, it could be a lot of places.”

Overpasses and bridges are more susceptible to freezing over in cold temperatures because of the air below them becoming cold, driving the surface and internal temperatures of the structures down even further.

“The rest of the road doesn’t have that air and wind passing below them,” Weddle said.

He also confirmed in most cases, bridges tend to be flatter than the rest of the roads, keeping any water that falls on them longer, giving it more time to freeze there.

“So bridges and overpasses are where we’re watching most, but we’re keeping watch over all the city,” Weddle said. “Our crew is on call 24-7 until temperatures warm back up, which means we may still be on call on Christmas Day if this continues into Sunday.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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