CHAPEL HILL – As winter weather moves into our area, the N.C. Department of Transportation is readying its resources to help keep the roads safe.

Brad Wall, Division Maintenance Engineer for the NCDOT, says that because the weather event is expected to begin as rain, the department will not pre-treat the roads with salt brine, which is a solution of water and salt that helps prevent snow or ice from sticking to roadways in the initial hours of a storm.

“When we have an event that begins with rain, then we do not put out salt brine because the rain will just wash it away,” Wall says. “Once we see how the event will come in, that helps us decide whether we pre-treat with brine or not.”

Salt trucks throughout the State will continue to assess road conditions and spread salt if necessary.

Independent contractors, who Wall explains can provide back up to the NCDOT in clearing and salting the roads, are on stand bye as well.

“What we are doing is preparing the trucks. They will be fueled. They will be loaded with salt, and we will probably go ahead and put snow plows on.”

Wall encourages motorists to be aware of the potential for black ice on roadways and especially on bridges and overpasses, and to use extreme caution overnight and during morning commutes.

“Whatever water is on the road will re-freeze so folks really need to look at things carefully before they venture out.”

Wall recommends these safety tips:

·         Slow down

·         Bridges and overpasses freeze first

·         Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding

·         Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.