RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation crews throughout the Triad and surrounding areas are pre-treating roads today in advance of a winter storm that could bring several inches of snow to the region.
In Division Seven, which covers Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties, more than 70 employees and 41 trucks are currently salt brining the division's bare pavement routes, which include interstates, four-lane divided primary routes, and other primary and secondary routes.
In Division Nine, 100 NCDOT employees and 29 trucks are brining bare pavement routes in Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties. Both divisions expect brining operations to be complete by mid-afternoon on Tuesday.
Salt brine, a solution of water and salt that helps prevent snow or ice from sticking to roadways in the initial hours of a storm, is NCDOT's most cost effective anti-icing treatment method. By putting down the brine today, the salt will have more time to adhere to the pavement before any precipitation begins to fall, providing better protection from snow and ice. While some of the brine may be washed away if the precipitation begins as rain, NCDOT determined that the proactive pavement treatment would still be beneficial, particularly if the track and/or timing of the winter storm shifts.
Equipment and supplies are ready for crews throughout the Triad to begin clearing roads of accumulated snow and ice as needed. NCDOT's focus will shift from anti-icing operations to snow and ice removal once the latest round of winter weather moves into the region.
Motorists should be aware of the potential for snow and ice on roadways and especially on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first. NCDOT encourages motorists to use extreme caution and remember these safety tips:
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.
Motorists should also be aware of the potential for significant ice accumulation and high winds, which could result in downed trees and power lines. NCDOT will work closely with local power companies to clear roads as quickly as possible once the utility providers have removed downed power lines and trees.
NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews determine when to use salt and sand, how they decide which roads to clear first, and the differences between snow and ice removal. 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 and bookmark it to save for future use.
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.