Winston-Salem - At a media event today N.C. Department of Transportation Division Nine engineers shared their tactical plans in the war against the first round of wicked winter weather.
"Over the last 24 hours we've had 31 pieces of brine application equipment in rotation, placing brine on primary and interstates routes before the flakes start flying," said Division Maintenance Engineer John Rhyne.
As the snow begins tonight across Division Nine, which encompasses, Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Davidson and Rowan counties, NCDOT will have approximately 300 pieces of snow removal equipment on the roadways applying salt and plowing when needed.
"In the war against winter weather, our arsenal is loaded with nearly 12,000 tons of salt," said Forsyth County Maintenance Engineer Kevin Neal.
Crews across the Triad will be staged, based on the forecast, this evening along their routes. All equipment has been checked for use, all vehicles have been gassed, and all contractors have been put on standby.
The Department clears the roads using a priority system that calls for interstates and four-lane divided primary routes (N.C. and U.S. routes) to be cleared first, followed by lower-volume primary roads, high-volume secondary roads, lower-volume secondary roads and then subdivision streets.
"One of our key duties is keeping state-maintained roads clear," said Regional ITS Engineer Jeron Monroe. He heads the Triad Area Incident Management Assistance Patrol roadside assistance program.
"Now that we are in a true state of emergency we will begin to move any vehicles off roadways that will prevent our salt trucks and plows from clearing," Monroe added.
NCDOT encourages the public to stay off area roadways if possible; but if travel is necessary, we want to remind drivers of the Move Over Law during this winter weather event.
The law requires motorists to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed when traveling by construction, emergency and utility vehicles with flashing lights on the shoulder of a highway.
We encourage motorists to prepare for the season by logging on to our website now to find out about severe weather and safety tips.
For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.