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Forecast for snow farther west is sending NCDOT brine trucks back onto highways

How the NC DOT prepares for snow and ice

Learn how the NC Dept. of Transportation prioritizes and treats highways and roads during winter weather emergencies.
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Learn how the NC Dept. of Transportation prioritizes and treats highways and roads during winter weather emergencies.

Shifting predictions about snow have shifted the state Department of Transportation’s plans for Wake County highways.

The agency is sending out tankers to spray brine on more pavement in the county than first planned because forecasts Wednesday morning say snow could fall farther west than had been expected.

Officials hope to lay down about 60,000 gallons of the salted liquid Wednesday, NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott said.

Crews had begun working Tuesday and sprayed about 60,000 gallons during the evening.

Crews also were out brining roads Tuesday in Durham, Franklin, Vance, Person, Granville, Orange and Alamance counties and all the counties along the Interstate 95 corridor and points east, Abbott said.

With the potential of winter weather this week, here are some tips for driving on icy or snow-covered roads.

Overnight temperatures no lower than the low 20s would be great for road crews because the brine and any solid salt spread on the roads will keep water from freezing. Below that, even the salted water will refreeze.

Statewide, DOT on Wednesday morning that 296 of its trucks had sprayed 986,165 gallons of brine in 56 counties. The department had 876 workers dedicated to all parts of that operation, a statement said.

If the area gets enough snow to plow, the DOT will focus first on interstates and divided highways, then move on to smaller roads that are DOT’s responsibility, Abbott said.

According to NCDOT, Wake County has 456 “lane miles” of interstates, 642 lane miles of U.S. routes, 427 lane miles of N.C. routes, and 4,305 lane miles of secondary roads.

Gov. Roy Cooper said state troopers are checking and marking abandoned vehicles along highways, to ensure that no one is left stranded in the wintry weather. Cooper also said that NCDOT will follow a “quick clearance policy” that allows crews to push stranded vehicles that may impede traffic out of the roadway and on to the shoulder.

Drone and slow motion video reveals the beauty inside this beastly cold weather.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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