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NCDOT Crews in Charlotte, Foothills Preparing for Threat of Winter Weather

Charlotte - Winter weather is once again in the forecast for Charlotte and the Foothills, and N.C. Department of Transportation crews will be working this weekend to prepare for that threat.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the greater Charlotte region and the Foothills. A wintry mix of snow and freezing rain are possible late Sunday and into Monday morning, which could make travel treacherous.

Crews in NCDOT's Division 12 (which includes Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties) will begin brining operations on Saturday morning. Brine is a 23percent salt-and-water solution that prevents ice from bonding to the pavement. Brine can be applied up to 48 hours in advance of a storm, as long as rain isn't falling.

In NCDOT's Division 10 (which includes Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly and Union counties), crews are actively monitoring the forecast. The decision to brine roads will be made on Saturday, based on whether the storm will move into the Charlotte region as freezing rain or snow. Freezing rain will dilute any brine solution and wash it off the road, making any pretreatment ineffective.

NCDOT crews in Division 10 used approximately 10,590 tons of salt during the most recent winter storm in late January. During that same time, crews in Division 12 used approximately 6,000 tons of salt. Each county maintenance yard works to replenish its salt supply immediately after each weather event to ensure that enough materials are always on hand.

NCDOT has an extensive network of primary and secondary roads to clear once the storm moves into the region. Whether roads are coated in ice or covered with snow, the Department must work quickly and efficiently to make travel safe for motorists.

For Division 10, that means NCDOT must remove snow and ice from:

  • 756 lane miles of interstate roads;
  • 765 lane miles of U.S. routes;
  • 1,381 lane miles of N.C. routes; and
  • 8,273 lane miles of secondary routes.

For Division 12, that means NCDOT must remove snow and ice from:

  • 474 lane miles of interstate routes;
  • 794 lane miles of U.S. routes;
  • 1,321 lane miles of N.C. routes; and
  • 10,114 lane miles of secondary routes.

Crews in both divisions 10 and 12 will have contractors available to help supplement their responses, if needed.

During and after the storm, NCDOT asks that motorists avoid travel, if possible. This helps keep motorists safe and gives road crews room to work. If travel is unavoidable, winter weather driving tips can be found on NCDOT's website.

For real-time travel information, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

***NCDOT***

2/19/2018 7:49 AM