DOT prepares for second round of snow

Most primary routes clear — for now
Feb. 13, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

North Carolina Department of Transportation maintenance crews are working to clear snow and ice from interstates and primary routes throughout the Triad and surrounding areas after the most recent winter storm dropped as much as a foot of snow in the region.

In Division 9, which includes Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties, crews have spread 3,800 tons of salt since preparations for the storm began on Monday. More than 160 employees, 93 trucks and 26 motor graders are working throughout the division to clear snow and ice from interstates and primary routes. In addition to the department’s resources, 128 contract trucks and motor graders are responding to winter weather throughout the division.

Maintenance crews have placed more than 5,000 tons of salt on the interstates and major primary routes in NCDOT’s Division 7, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties. There are 232 employees working with 159 trucks and 37 motor graders to clear primary routes throughout the division, as well as 102 contract trucks and motor graders.

In both divisions, interstates and major primary routes were mostly clear by noon, though a second round of heavy snow is now passing through the region and will require crews to redouble their effort to clear these roadways once the weather system has moved out of the area.

Most secondary routes remain covered with snow and ice. Crews expect to begin plowing those routes Friday.

NCDOT crews follow a pre-established order when removing snow and ice. They begin with interstate and four-lane divided primary routes, as well as some primary and secondary routes considered essential to the movement of intrastate traffic. These roads get the highest priority, because they carry the largest number of vehicles and serve as critical connections between cities and towns.

Next, crews clear U.S. and N.C. routes and paved secondary routes not already addressed. Then, they handle unpaved secondary routes.

As crews continue their efforts to clear roads, motorists are strongly encouraged to stay home if possible. If travel is necessary, motorists should be on the lookout for NCDOT vehicles and increase the following distance between NCDOT crews and themselves.

In addition, motorists should be aware of the potential for black ice to form overnight as temperatures drop below freezing, particularly on bridges and overpasses and in areas where snow and ice have melted and left water on the roadway. NCDOT offers the following tips to help keep motorists safe when traveling through areas with the potential for black ice:

• Slow down.

• Remember 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.

• Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.

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.

Do not call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.