The science behind icy bridges - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

The science behind icy bridges

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Much of Montana was covered by snow and ice yesterday causing an unknown number of accidents.

Many of them occurred on overpasses and bridges which are even more dangerous in icy conditions.

We're in the thick of the winter season so many of us are used to driving in the snow by now but what about ice?

A rare freezing rain event led to several accidents across Montana, especially on bridges and overpasses.

There are always signs before bridges and overpasses telling you the bridge ices before the road.

Well, this is why the surface of the earth is able to hold on to heat longer than the air around you. 
Because of that the roads are able to remain warmer and accumulate less ice but for a bridge that's not the case.

Bridges and overpasses are surrounded by the cold air on the top and bottom cooling the temperature of the bridge more rapidly.

Once the bridge or overpass hits the freezing point it will ice over with whatever moisture is around it.

The Montana Department of Transportation said the best things to do when approaching a bridge or overpass is to turn off cruise control, slow down, and leave more space between your car and the car in front of you.

MDT tried to keep up with the overpasses and bridges but when there's freezing rain expect them to be worse.

They said, "we're more reactive than proactive with that. We're out but everything is freezing up at the same time. Generally, if we're out in a storm we'll be out pre-applying."

MDT also said if you want to keep up to date with the road conditions you can dial 511 or download their mobile app.

It is available for Apple and Android devices.

If you choose to use your cell phone to keep up to date while traveling MDT wanted to urge you to double check the road conditions before traveling and make sure you slow down.
           


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