NCDOT Crews Statewide Prepared and Ready to Respond to Winter Weather Thursday, January 17, 2013

RALEIGH – As forecasters predict winter weather to hit parts of the state this evening, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are prepared and ready to respond to the storm.

Because the storm is starting out as a rain event, NCDOT maintenance crews will not pretreat the roads with a salt-water mixture called brine, which is a cost-effective way to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. The rain would wash off the brine, wasting resources and offering no benefit to drivers.

Crews across the state are proactively preparing for the winter weather in the following ways:

Western Carolina Mountains

  • Crews are currently transitioning from cleaning up mudslides to removing snow. They have calibrated the heavy equipment and are staging spreaders and plows this afternoon.

Greater Charlotte Area

  • In addition to NCDOT maintenance staff, the department will use about 50 contract trucks in Mecklenburg County. They will work through the night and into the morning hours to remove any snow or ice.

Triad Region

  • NCDOT crews have outfitted their trucks with plows and spreaders, and stockpiled salt and sand to ensure they are ready to respond as soon as the storm hits. In some counties, crews were sent home to rest this afternoon and will report back to work early this evening to begin removing any snow.

Triangle Region

  • During the day today, crews put plows on the trucks, so they are ready to go when the snow begins falling. Crews left the maintenance yards this afternoon to go home and rest, and will return later tonight in advance of the winter weather.

I-95 Corridor

  • Crews spent the day preparing equipment and loading sand and salt onto the trucks. They will be on standby overnight, ready to clear snow and address icy spots.

Coastal Region

  • Crews located in counties with the potential to see snow or ice have equipped their trucks with plows and spreaders, and will have skeleton crews working overnight. All other coastal counties have crews on alert to treat any bridges or overpasses as they become slick.

NCDOT is concerned about the strong potential for black ice forming overnight, especially on bridges and overpasses, which typically freeze first. The combination of rain, snow and freezing temperatures in the early morning hours could create slick spots. The department encourages drivers who cross bridges or overpasses during their morning commutes to use extreme caution. To ensure safety, motorists are advised to go slow, avoid distractions such as cell phones and avoid forcefully using their brakes to reduce speed.

The department has produced several videos, explaining how maintenance crews prepare for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page at www.youtube.com/ncdotcommunications.

 Drivers can access real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a number of ways:

  • Call 511, the department’s toll-free travel information line;

  • Visit NCDOT’s travel webpage at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/default.aspx to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region, route or county;

  • Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department’s website, to know before you go about road conditions. Just type “m.ncdot.gov” into your smartphone’s browser;

  • “Like” NCDOT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCDOT1; and

  • Follow one of NCDOT’s many Twitter feeds, which are listed at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/.

***NCDOT***

 

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