Triangle interstates and other major highways were clear of snow and ice by Tuesday afternoon, but drivers were warned to watch for icy, slippery spots Wednesday morning.
“We’re going to be in a thaw-freeze cycle that becomes quite dangerous,” Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. “You get a little water on the road and it freezes.”
Traffic is expected to pick up again Wednesday morning. Drivers should slow down because roads and especially bridges will still have some dangerous spots.
The National Weather Service issued a black-ice advisory early Wednesday for Central North Carolina that expires at 10 a.m.
“You need to put a lot of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you,” Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott said. “If they hit some black ice and start spinning out, if you’re too close, you’re going to join them.”
With very cold temperatures expected for the rest of the week, road crews will have little opportunity after Wednesday to improve conditions on the Triangle’s secondary roads
“Whatever we don’t clear up by tomorrow evening, it’s going to be with us for a few days,” Abbott said.
There isn’t much that can be done to remove solid patches of black ice from the pavement, he said.
“You can’t scrape ice – it would damage the plow and tear up the pavement,” Abbott said. “Salt doesn’t work when it gets much colder than 18 degrees.”
Better air travel conditions are expected Wednesday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where 112 of the 400 daily flights were canceled Tuesday, most of them in the morning.
“This afternoon it has been mostly delays, as things get back on track,” RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said Tuesday.