Charlotte - With the threat of a major winter storm moving toward the Charlotte region, hundreds of N.C. Department of Transportation employees will be working tonight to clear state roads effectively and efficiently.
NCDOT and its contract crews will begin reporting around 7 p.m. to start snow and ice removal efforts as the approaching winter storm necessitates. Whether the precipitation arrives as rain, freezing rain, snow, or a combination of all three, NCDOT is prepared to respond as needed. Crew members will work 12-hour alternating shifts until the storm has passed and roads are clear.
In NCDOT's Division 10, which includes Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly and Union counties, crews worked today to spread rock salt on some of the region's most highly traveled roads, as well as interstate flyover bridges prone to freezing. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of water and helps prevent ice from bonding to the pavement. In Mecklenburg County alone, NCDOT has 4,500 tons of salt ready to be used during this winter storm.
As the storm moves in, crews can use a variety of tools to help combat snow, ice or a combination of various forms of precipitation. This includes using salt to lower the freezing point of water, sand to break up the ice and provide added traction, as well as snow plows to clear accumulation on roads.
Crews will focus initial snow and ice removal efforts on primary routes in Division 10, which include interstates, U.S. and N.C. routes, and other major roads needed for emergency services. Division wide, this amounts to roughly 3,000 lane miles that will need clearing by NCDOT crews. To help with this response, nearly 100 trucks from contractors across the region will be available to work together with NCDOT.
The Department asks that motorists avoid travel, if possible. If travel is absolutely necessary, slow down, increase following distance and use extreme caution, especially on bridges and overpasses. Motorists are encouraged to "know before you go" by checking traffic alerts and updates at tims.ncdot.gov/tims. Additional safety tips are available on NCDOT's website.
For real-time travel information, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.