Freezing roadways a danger to Wednesday morning commuters

WASHINGTON — We’ve all seen the signs: “Bridges freeze before roadway.” Well, WTOP traffic reporter Bob Marbourg says that’s especially true for Wednesday morning.

Marbourg says Tuesday night’s strong winds helped temperatures plummet after a day of snowfall. The result is wet roads and frigid temperatures for Wednesday morning, which may mean dicey roads for morning commuters.

That means the roads are freezing before the winds can dry them off, Marbourg says, and some bridge decks, particularly in Montgomery County and areas to the north and west, are already freezing.

A man died after an ice-related single-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County Wednesday morning.

At least six crashes were reported in Montgomery County as of 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, including ones on Viers Mill Road and University Boulevard, and at Georgia Avenue and Laytonsville Road.

Bridges get cold air from above and below, so they freeze before surface roads.

“That’s what the signs say,” Marbourg says, “and this is why it happens.”

Most of the pre-treating of area roads in preparation for the snow was washed away in the course of Tuesday snow and wind, Marbourg says.

“There are crews out on the roads doing some salting [Tuesday night], but not nearly a full-scale mobilization.”

His advice?

“Everybody take in a breath, back off on the speed, and consider that the next overpass you find may be slippery.”

Some schools are delayed Wednesday morning because of the road conditions. See the full list on

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