Road crews across North Carolina are preparing roads, bridges and overpasses ahead of freezing temperatures and winter precipitation that’s forecast to have an impact from the mountains to the coast this weekend.
“The N.C. Department of Transportation is monitoring the approaching storm, and we are ready to respond as needed,” Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Holder said Friday.
Since preparations started Wednesday, road maintenance crews have treated major routes, bridges and overpasses with about 2 million gallons of brine – a saltwater solution that lowers the freezing temperature of treated surfaces and prevents ice and snow from sticking to the pavement.
More than 3,200 employees, 1,900 vehicles – equipped with plows and spreaders – and hundreds of front-end loaders, backhoes and motor graders are on standby to clear and treat roads as soon as possible.
NCDOT’s weather response plans allows for crews and equipment to be shifted, as needed, and for contractors to supplement NCDOT crews.
When clearing roadways, NCDOT prioritizes interstates and essential primary routes first. After these roads are clear, the priority shifts to clearing lower-volume primary roads, high-volume secondary roads, lower-volume secondary roads and then subdivision streets.
“Once winter weather begins, we urge drivers to avoid travel, if possible, to protect both them and our crews who will be working to clear our roads as quickly as possible,” Holder said.
The N.C. State Highway Patrol is also urging drivers to stay off the roads, if possible, and to use extra caution if they have to be out.
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