RALEIGH -N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews have made significant progress in their around-the-clock efforts to clear roads in the Triad and surrounding areas after a winter storm dropped up to 3 inches of snow throughout the region.
In NCDOT's Division Seven, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties, interstate and primary routes are clear, though some ice remains in shaded areas. More than 90 percent of secondary routes have been plowed and are passable, but the snow and ice is proving difficult to remove, particularly in areas where the roadway is shaded. Crews expect to reach all secondary routes by the end of the day.
Since winter weather preparations began earlier this week, Division Seven has used more than 6,300 tons of salt and 242 NCDOT employees, 163 trucks and 30 motor graders to brine, plow and salt roadways throughout the area.
Interstates and primary routes are clear in Division Nine, which includes Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties. All secondary routes are passable and crews will continue to plow until they are clear, though isolated patches of ice may remain in shaded areas.
In Division Nine, 152 NCDOT employees, 93 trucks and 16 motor graders have been utilized for storm preparation and response operations. Crews have treated roadways with 5,450 tons of salt and 150 tons of a sand/salt combination over the course of the winter storm.
As crews continue to clear roads throughout today, motorists are asked to be on the lookout for NCDOT vehicles and increase the following distance between NCDOT crews and themselves.
Temperatures will dip into the teens tonight and motorists should be aware of the potential for black ice to form, particularly in areas where snow and ice have melted and left water on the roadway. NCDOT offers the following tips to help keep motorists safe when traveling through areas with the potential for black ice:
Bridges and overpasses freeze first;
Put down the cell phone and focus on the road;
Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and
Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.
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.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.