CHARLOTTE – Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, the N.C. Department of Transportation will mobilize five contract trucks to treat interstate bridges and overpasses in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties with a brine-calcium solution, as more frozen precipitation may create hazardous conditions on elevated surfaces. This type of solution will take longer to freeze and will provide additional protection against icing. Rock salt would likely bounce off the road surface and provide no benefit.
Current weather forecasts show a 40 percent chance of freezing rain moving through the Charlotte area before 8 a.m. with less than a tenth of an inch accumulation. Icy patches could form in the early morning hours, so motorists should remain alert. Temperatures should rise above freezing by 10 a.m. Engineers will monitor conditions and temperatures through the event’s duration, modifying plans as needed.
Motorists should keep a safe following distance from any trucks spraying the brine solution as they will be traveling at slower speeds.
NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
· Clear windows and mirrors;
· Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
· Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;
· If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car;
· Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop; and
· If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement by dialing 911. But please don’t call 911 to check on road conditions. That line must be kept open for emergencies.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone and bookmark it to save for future use.