Road crews prepare for another snow storm
Posted February 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Road crews across the Triangle were spreading brine on major roadways Monday in anticipation of the season's third winter weather event.
N.C. Department of Transportation crews in Durham were coating bridges, ramps and major highways with about 9,000 gallons of brine ahead of the wintry mix. The DOT plans to keep staff on standby overnight in case the mix accumulates, said Steve Abbott, DOT spokesman.
"It's the same thing, we go out and brine the roads, and we sit and wait," he said.
About 50 trucks were working in Wake County as light snow fell across the area Monday afternoon.
The DOT spread 78,000 gallons of brine for the last snow storm.
"After each storm, we check the supplies in different areas and bring in new salt, and have that shipped in," Abbott said.
The DOT could soon use up its $30 million budget for winter weather.
DOT has a set snow and ice removal process in place:
- Interstates, four-lane divided highways and "other routes essential to moving traffic" are treated first
- Secondary roads and neighborhoods are treated next
The DOT determines its priority order by:
- Traffic volume, amount of use
- Major business avenues and trucking routes
- Importance to hospitals and other emergency routes
"The NCDOT works in conjunction with the National Weather Service to ensure to the best of our ability our 3,200 trained employees stay ahead of the storm by pre-treating roads with a brine mixture to keep the snow and ice from sticking, then plowing and sanding once the wintry weather hits," the department said in a statement.
Winter storm facts from the DOT:
- The DOT can store 162,000 tons of salt statewide
- Up to 60-000 tons of sand and salt are used during a typical winter snow season
- The DOT uses:
1,900 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders
325 front-end loaders and backhoes
450 motor graders
- The DOT also outfit pickup trucks with snowplows to clear less-traveled roads
- Plowing and brine spreading trucks can either plow snow or spread sand and salt, they cannot do both