With another round winter weather moving into western North Carolina and the
foothills, N.C. Department of Transportation crews have been working hard to
prepare for the possibility of snow, ice and freezing rain.Here’s a look at what are crews are doing in each of
western North Carolina’s four divisions:
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Division 11 (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes
and Yadkin counties)
The National Weather Service says snow, sleet, freezing rain and
rain are possible Friday and Saturday across parts of NCDOT’s Division 11. Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties could see 1-3 inches of snow, with
more accumulation possible in elevations above 3,000 feet, according to
the National Weather Service.
To prepare for possible snow accumulation, crews will brine
primary routes in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga
counties. Brine is highly effective at preventing snow and ice from
bonding to the road surface. However, brining isn’t typically done in
areas where precipitation is likely to begin as rain, since the rain washes the
brine off the pavement and dilutes the solution.
Division 12 (Alexander, Catawba,
Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties)
The National Weather Service says NCDOT’s Division
12 could see a mix of snow and rain beginning early Friday.
As a precaution,
NCDOT will brine interstate and primary routes (N.C., U.S. routes) in
Alexander County and northern Iredell County, where it’s more likely the
precipitation will begin as snow.
Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke,
Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey counties)
National Weather Service says NCDOT’s Division 13 could see a mix of snow, sleet and rain.
13 crews will do some brining operations on elevated surfaces, including
bridges and other trouble spots more prone to snow and ice accumulation.
Crews will also brine routes in the higher elevation mountain
Division 14 (Cherokee, Clay, Graham,
Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties)
National Weather Service says precipitation is likely across much of NCDOT’s
Division 14. While rain is likely in
valley locations, freezing rain, snow or sleet are possible
in the higher elevations.
this morning, NCDOT crews will brine I-26 in Henderson and Polk
counties, U.S. 25 in Henderson County from I-26 to the South Carolina line,
N.C. 280 from the Buncombe County line into Brevard and U.S. 64/276
through Brevard in Transylvania County. The latest models show the event
starting out as snow/sleet, then rain, in these areas, so crews will apply
brine as a precaution.
Why We Brine
a solution of water and salt that NCDOT uses as a method of pre-treating
roadways in anticipation of snow or ice accumulating on the road. Brine
contains 23 percent salt – the industry standard – and provides a number of
• Lowers the freezing temperature of
water to about 18 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius).
• Prevents snow and ice from bonding
with the road’s surface.
• Keeps snow from being compacted by
traffic, which can turn it into ice.
• Is more effective and coats roadways
better than plain salt or sand.
• Gives crews time, since
they can brine up to 48 hours in advance of a storm as long as it doesn’t
rain. Rain washes most of the brine solution off of the roadway.
• Costs 15 cents per gallon to
produce. One mile of a single lane of road can be treated for about $6; rock
salt costs more than $14 to treat the same stretch of road.
winter weather moves in, NCDOT will monitor roads for icy patches and treat any
accumulation with salt/sand to make it safer for motorists to
travel. Drivers are encouraged to stay off the roads, if possible, during
a winter weather event.
don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. If you must:
all windows and mirrors of snow and ice. It might be helpful to let your
vehicle run for several minutes with both front and rear defrosters on to help
the process along.
as much loose snow as possible from your vehicle’s trunk, roof and hood to keep
snow from blowing off and obscuring your vision and that of drivers behind you.
Clear off your rear bumper to expose the license plate.
sure that headlights, tail lights, external mirrors and marker lights are free
of obscuring snow and ice.
your cell phone with you, even on short trips. You never know when you might
down and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. We can’t
stress this enough. Excessive speed is the number one cause of winter weather
not use your cruise control.
smoothly, without sudden accelerating, braking or turning.
and overpasses freeze long before other parts of the roadway. Use extreme
caution and avoid using your brakes on the bridges (this is where slowing down
and leaving plenty of space is most important).For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Travel section of the NCDOT website, call 511, or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website.