Posted December 19, 2020 09:01:16Texas weather is the stuff of legend, with temperatures plummeting below zero and wind gusts reaching 130 km/h.
But a number of roads in the Lone Star State are now closed to all traffic, with a road near Dallas known as the “Texas Road King”, a title that was once bestowed upon the city’s famous road king.
The road was built in 1902 as a single lane road with a median width of 2 metres, but in the 1920s it was widened and renamed as “The Road King” for good measure.
“It was the only road in the world that was not designed for motor vehicles, and it was so popular with drivers that they started calling it ‘the road,'” said David Smith, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) spokeswoman.
There are no plans to close the roads, but drivers are encouraged to stay off the roads and to avoid all traffic.
Smith said there is no need to panic and motorists are urged to “drive slowly and safely”.
“If you have to travel a little bit more, you don’t need to travel as much as you do,” she said.
In the north-east corner of Dallas, a large construction site is under construction, but Smith said drivers are urged not to get too close to the site and to use caution when traveling.
Roads in the area will remain closed from midnight to 7 a.m.
(1900 GMT) every day through the end of January.
As temperatures plummet, the road is a destination for many drivers as it’s the only one of its kind.
A number of people have been stranded in the city for days, according to the Texas Tribune, but with a cold front moving in, the area has seen little change in conditions.
While temperatures are currently at minus 30 degrees Celsius, the temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is minus 25 degrees Celsius and the temperature is expected to drop even further during the night, according the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Transportation officials are encouraging drivers to use their own judgement as to whether or not to travel.
Drivers are advised to follow posted signs, such as “No passing or lane changing”, but if they do pass, they should look for signs that say “No vehicles allowed”.
The Texas Transportation Institute said the road was “very popular with many drivers” and that the number of vehicles that have been stuck in the road has been relatively low.
It said the city has been able to get by with less than 200 vehicles per day since the closure of the road, and that a large number of cars have stopped on the road and made repairs.
With temperatures expected to dip even further, it will be interesting to see if drivers continue to find comfort in the roads.
For more information about the conditions in Texas, check out this interactive map: