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NCDOT Crews Preparing for Winter Weather Across the State

RALEIGH -- The latest weather forecast calls for a chance of snow and ice across the state beginning as early as Tuesday afternoon with significant accumulation in some regions. As a result, N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews are already preparing for what could become dangerous driving conditions.Crews are currently laying down brine on interstates, highways, roads, bridges and overpasses in regions expected to be affected by this weather event and will adjust the anti-icing procedures as conditions warrant.

According to meteorologists, this storm is atypical.The outlook for snow is almost opposite the traditional northwest-to-southeast pattern. Instead of the precipitation moving along with the cold front, it's going to be developing offshore with that moisture pushing inland. The heaviest snowfall is not expected in the mountains, as usual, but in the eastern part of the state.

NCDOT will update the road conditions and anti/de-icing procedures throughout the next 48 -72 hours.

If travel is necessary, motorists should take these precautions:

  • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles
  • Maintain a safe following distance behind brine application trucks, and plow and spreader trucks
  • Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge
  • 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
  • If you have a cellular phone, take it with you; you can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling HP (*47) or call the county emergency center by dialing 911
  • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this scenario as a four-way stop.

Commonly asked questions:

  • Salt brine is a salt and water solution that is 23 percent salt and keeps the ice from bonding to the road.
  • Salt brine is an extremely cost-effective way to keep roadways safe, costing about 15 cents per gallon to manufacture. It costs $6 to pre-treat one lane mile with salt brine, compared to about $14.38 to apply rock salt to one lane mile after a storm has hit.
  • NCDOT owns brine production plants, which are located at county maintenance yards, in each of the 14 field divisions.
  • The Department purchased additional brine equipment this year to provide better coverage and facilitate more efficient snow removal operations.
  • Brine is made by loading a hopper with salt, adding water, and agitating until the solution is 23 percent salt. The solution is then pumped into a holding tank and loaded onto application trucks to be sprayed on the roadway.

How NCDOT determines which roads will receive the anti-icing treatment:

  • Bare pavement routes are top priority in snow removal. Brine is applied to high-priority bare pavement route roads; interstates are top priority.
  • The bare pavement system consists of interstate and four-lane divided primary routes and other primary and secondary routes considered to be essential to the fulfillment of the movement of intrastate traffic. Each division evaluates their bare pavement routes and prioritizes anti-icing and de-icing accordingly.
  • The decision to pre-treat roads is made 24-48 hours in advance of a storm. If it is around 32 degrees and forecasted to be frozen precipitation, roads are typically pre-treated. Brine, however has to be applied to the road when it is not raining beca


2/15/2018 5:24 PM