DOT: Stay off roads if possible
Posted February 13, 2014
Updated February 14, 2014
UPDATE: 8:45 a.m.: Although numerous traffic accidents continue to be reported due to snow and ice, no major backups are being reported because traffic volume is relatively light, WRAL's Brian Shrader said.
"If you can stay put for another hour or two, that's the best bet," he said.
Dozens of minor wrecks have been reported throughout the commute.
UPDATE: 8:05 a.m.: Another vehicle has overturned, this time on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Chapel Hill Boulevard.
UPDATE: 8:00 a.m.: Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials will provide an update on road conditions and the state's response to this week's winter storm at 10:15 a.m.
Watch the news conference live on WRAL.com.
UPDATE: 7:40 a.m.: State Department of Transportation crews are out in "full force" to treat slick spots and continue to clear Triangle roads, according to spokesman Mike Charbonneau.
Crews from the eastern part of the state arrived in the Triangle late Thursday, and they were out throughout the night to treat slick spots with sand and salt, Charbonneau said.
As incidents have continued to be reported during the morning commute, crews are relying on the reports of law enforcement officials when deploying to different parts of the Triangle.
"All available resources that can work in the Triangle will be out today," he said.
UPDATE: 7:30 a.m.: Raleigh police cruisers have blocked one lane of traffic on Interstate 440 East over Wade Avenue to prevent cars from driving on an icy right lane.
Cars are also struggling to access Interstate 440 from Glenwood Avenue.
"Raleigh police and DOT crews are having major issues this morning," WRAL's Brian Shrader said. "They have their hands full."
UPDATE: 7:10 a.m.: Authorities have closed the exit ramp from Interstate 540 West to Aviation Parkway.
UPDATE: 6:50 a.m.: Another driver of an SUV has become the victim of slick roads, this time on Interstate 440 near Glenwood Avenue. Authorities were blocking the right lane of travel.
Major backups were also being reported near Interstate 40 and Trinity Road, WRAL's Brian Shrader said.
UPDATE: 6:45 a.m.: As more residents hit the roads and interstates to return to work, issues continue to be reported in several areas.
An SUV lost control on Interstate 440 near the Western Boulevard exit and ended up on the side of the road. Emergency officials were on scene at 6:45 a.m. to help tow the SUV clear of a ditch.
UPDATE: 6:35 a.m.: Temperatures continue to hover at or near freezing, but the mercury could dip shortly before sunrise, falling back into the upper 20s, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
Authorities were closing lanes on some bridges on Interstates 40 and 440 to prevent wrecks. One lane was blocked on I-440 and Western Boulevard, and another was being blocked near Wake Forest Road.
UPDATE: 6:25 a.m.: Problems continue to be reported on interstates across the Triangle, mainly on bridges and near ramps.
No major injuries were being reported, but minor wrecks were slowing traffic in two spots on Interstate 40.
"If we're seeing all sorts of issues on major roads and interstates, you can imagine what secondary roads are like," WRAL's Brian Shrader said. "If you can stay put, do it, at least until 9 or 10 a.m."
UPDATE: 6:00 a.m.: Authorities are responding to several minor accidents across the Triangle.
A car overturned on N.C. Highway 147 near Swift Avenue at about 5:45 a.m. and ended up on its hood, according to reporter Tara Lynn. No injuries were reported.
Another wreck was reported on Interstate 40 West at Harrison Avenue. The right lane was expected to be closed until 7 a.m.
A third car lost control on Interstate 40 near Hammond Road.
"Stay off the roads this morning if you can, but if you do have to go out, use extra caution," WRAL's Brian Shrader said.
Motorists were advised to stay off roads for a third consecutive day Friday as state Department of Transportation crews clear snow and ice off Triangle roadways.
Below freezing temperatures overnight caused melting ice to refreeze, forcing crews to retreat major roads with sand for traction and salt as a melting agent. The DOT could not say when they would start clearing secondary roads.
Interstate 40 eastbound at Miami Boulevard in Durham County was temporarily closed Thursday night due to a vehicle accident. Another wreck on Interstate 40 and Wade Avenue shut down the road for about 30 minutes.
Major highways across the Triangle were mostly clear of snow and ice Thursday - and mostly clear of traffic. Traffic is expected to increase early Friday, and officials across the Triangle were seeing icy spots on roads and at intersections.
"It's one of those deals where, if you absolutely have to be out, most of the main roads are passable," WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said. "They're wet. They may have some icy patches. So we can't assume that it's a normal day."
State troopers responded to 824 calls for assistance Thursday morning, and over 6,700 calls for service since the storm started on Wednesday. Officials said the normal call volume for a 24-hour period is 800 calls statewide.
Dozens of wrecks, the majority of them minor, were reported in Fayetteville since Wednesday morning.
DOT crews in Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties used over 2,200 tons of salt to clear roads in those areas. Other crews from the eastern part of the state arrived in Wake County Thursday to spend the evening clearing area roads.
Triangle Transit will operate at full service on Friday. Service will start at 7 a.m. Shuttle service may be limited in Research Triangle Park due to closings or delays.
Capital Area Transit (CAT) will start service at 7 a.m. Friday and will operate on a Saturday schedule. The R-Line and Accessible Raleigh Transportation Program will also start service at 7 a.m.
DATA (Durham) and Bull City Connector service will start at 9 a.m.
CAT will operate the following Triangle Transit express routes Friday: Johnston County Express (JCX), Wake Forest Express (WFX), Zebulon/Wendell Express (ZWX), and Knightdale Express (KRX).
C-Tran (Cary) fixed route service will begin at 9 a.m. Door to door service will begin at 10 a.m.
Chapel Hill Transit officials said bus service will likely not start before 10 a.m. Friday. EZ Rider service will not operate Friday.
More than 300 flights were canceled at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Thursday. Nearly 400 flights fly in and out of RDU on a typical weekday.
Airlines will begin returning to normal operations on Friday, but some airlines have canceled their early morning flights.