After a week of snow, ice and cold weather treatment on Brazos Valley roads, experts do not anticipate widespread problems.
The most prevalent concern drivers may notice are more potholes in areas where water got into the roadway pavement, said Bobby Colwell, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation Bryan office.
David Newcomb, materials and pavements division head with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, said he saw a few potholes or developing potholes on local roads, including on Texas 6. Most of these potholes will occur in areas where the soil underneath the pavement was already weaker, and he does not anticipate it being a widespread problem.
“The roads suffered some with all of this, but by and large, I don’t think we’re looking at any huge catastrophes,” he said.
In addition to potholes, he said, cracked pavement will get a little worse due to water freezing and expanding in the cracks.
Newcomb compared the damage seen on local roads to what might be expected after a big rain event in which the ground stayed wet for days.
Residential streets and roads that are not as well maintained will be more susceptible to worsening conditions than highways and freeways, he said, with the most problematic areas on roadways that needed repair before the storm.
Comparing this past week’s winter weather with what he saw in Minnesota for 10 years, Newcomb said road problems occur when frost penetrates multiple feet into the ground. Based on the duration of the winter storm and freezing temperatures, he guessed the frost layer was a number of inches into the soil, not feet.
Colwell said following the record-breaking winter storm, TxDOT will be monitoring road conditions and addressing areas of concern.