145 Maintenance employees on the roads todayRALEIGH - Below freezing temperatures combined with winter precipitation from earlier this week caused black ice to form on many of the roads in the six counties making up N.C. Department of Transportation's Division Three. Crews are hard at work today addressing these areas and clearing secondary roads throughout the region.
NCDOT maintenance crews in Brunswick, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Sampson counties spent all day Thursday plowing and spreading salt and sand on all primary routes in the area. These primary routes are mostly clear of snow; however, motorists are advised to watch out for black ice today. In addition to spreading salt and sand on icy areas, crews today are focusing their efforts secondary roads.
NCDOT's Division Three has approximately 71 trucks and 13 motor graders working on the snow removal effort. Of these, approximately 10 trucks are from NCDOT county maintenance offices in the Triad that arrived earlier this week to assist with clearing roads. Approximately 3,092 tons of salt have been used as of this morning. Officials estimate that there is still enough salt on hand in all counties for the remainder of this event. Resources will be shared between counties should some areas start to run low on salt.
NCDOT reminds motorists not to drive unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, 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;- 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 in the event of an emergency by dialing 911; and- Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
NCDOT 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.
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. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.