Raleigh -NC Department of Transportation crews in Division 5 have made significant progress on clearing snow and ice from the area interstates and primary roads since Wednesday's winter weather began, and even were able to start clearing some secondary roads.
However, with forecasts of anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow expected in the southern part of the Division (Wake and Durham counties), and more than double that in the northern sections (Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties), workers will be heading back onto those roads to clear them again.
The NCDOT Bare Pavement snow/ice clearing plan calls for interstate and primary roads to be cleared before crews move onto the roads that carry less traffic. Because of the large number of interstate and primary road lane miles in Wake (1,448 lane miles) and Durham 586 lane miles), reinforcement workers are coming in from DOT Divisions in eastern North Carolina, where the winter impact has been less severe.
Twenty workers from Division 2, which includes the Greenville to the central coast, arrived in Wake County today, and they will handle snow and ice removal from those main roads overnight. That will give the Division 5 regular staff, which has been working rotating shifts since Wednesday, a chance to get a night's rest. They will return to work at 7 a.m. on Friday to work those main roads if necessary, and move onto N.C. routes and secondary roads. With sunshine and the temperature going into the low 40's helping melt any snow and ice, significant progress is likely on Friday.
Durham County's help comes Friday, with the addition of five workers from Division 4, which covers the northern part of the I-95 corridor.
Although the main roads may look clear, the overnight temperature will be in the mid 20's in most places in the Triangle, so extreme caution should be used by any drivers tonight or tomorrow morning. There could be icy spots where water and slush on the road this afternoon has frozen. The DOT reminds drivers that if they don't have to go out, it will be safer to stay home.
NCDOT has produced several videos showing how maintenance crews use salt and sand to contend with snow and ice, and how crews determine the order in which they clear roads. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page.
NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
- Clear windows and mirrors before driving;
- Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles in case either vehicle goes into a skid;
- Plan for significant additional travel time to reach your destination.
- Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge or ramp 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 also trying to stop; and
- If you have a cell 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 is for emergencies only.
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