Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in the department's weekly newscast, N.C. Transportation Now.
NCDOT Crews Ready for Snow and Ice
Winter is officially here-the mountains received a fresh blanket of snow last week and snow is in the forecast for other parts of the state this weekend. From the mountains to the coast, NCDOT's maintenance crews are prepared to keep roads clear and drivers safe.
Beginning each fall, NCDOT crews get equipment ready and stock up on salt, sand and other supplies necessary for winter weather preparation and response. Crews also perform dry runs to familiarize themselves with their designated routes and made sure equipment is working properly.
Statewide, NCDOT's snow and ice clearing equipment includes about 1,900 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders, 495 front-end loaders and backhoes, and 332 motor graders. In addition, contractors supplement NCDOT workers and equipment.
The department clears roads in priority order, focusing first on interstate and other primary routes, before moving to other roads.
While staying off the roads during snow or ice is the best option, if you must travel, keep these safety tips in mind:
Slow down. Excessive speed is the number one cause of wrecks in winter weather.
Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution since they accumulate ice first. Do not apply your brakes while on a bridge.
Intersections where traffic signals are out should be treated as a four-way stop.
Clear as much snow and ice from your vehicle as possible to keep it from blowing off and obstructing your view or hitting other vehicles.
Drive smoothly without sudden accelerating, braking or turning.
For more information on NCDOT's winter weather efforts and how you can stay safe on the roads, visit ncdot.gov, the state's ReadyNC app or readync.org.
NCDOT Releases Draft 10-Year Transportation Plan
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, the department released its new draft 10-year plan, which schedules transportation projects for the years 2018 through 2027. The plan includes more than 1,400 projects in all modes of transportation across all 100 counties in the state. This is the second 10-year plan developed under the Strategic Transportation Investments law that was passed in 2013 and implemented a new process for prioritizing projects based on data and local input.
NCDOT will hold a public comment period this spring to seek input on the draft, and the Board of Transportation is expected to approve the final plan this June.