• Charlotte area road crews prepare for next round of winter weather

    By: Greg Suskin


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As a cold front bears down on the Charlotte area, rain could change to freezing rain by Monday evening, creating hazardous driving conditions.

    The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to treat some bridges and have crews on standby in parts of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Anson and Stanly counties.

    Pavement temperatures were above 65 degrees before noon Monday and may still be above freezing by 5 p.m.

    According to the NCDOT, placing salt on the road surface in traffic will create a brine solution, creating a preventive layer between the roadway and frozen precipitation.

    This is the fourth time this winter that they have been mobilized for winter weather.

    DOWNLOAD: Severe weather app for smartphones

    The NCDOT is planning the following:

    Mecklenburg County: The Charlotte Department of Transportation has been treating Charlotte bridges with salt Monday and will continue Monday night with salt brine.  Officials say this is a proactive precautionary measure in anticipation of a winter event predicted to start Monday afternoon.

    Cabarrus County: 11 trucks will begin salting bridges at 1 p.m., finishing before rush hour. Crews will be on standby overnight to monitor conditions.

    Union County: No pretreatment is planned. Several salt spreaders will be loaded and personnel will be on standby overnight.

    Anson County: No pretreatment is planned. Three salt spreaders will be loaded and crews will be on call to respond to problem areas.

    Stanly County: Several brine trucks will apply solution near the storm's end while temperatures are above freezing, and six salt spreaders will be loaded to treat trouble spots overnight.

    The NCDOT offered the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:

    • Clear windows and mirrors;
    • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
    • Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary.
    • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
    • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop.

    If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement by dialing 911. But please don't call 911 to check on road conditions. That line must be kept open for emergencies.

    Storm to affect eastern NC

    State DOT officials are prepping central and eastern counties for a possibility of winter weather.  They said hazardous driving conditions are possible during the afternoon and evening commute with a possibility of black ice Tuesday morning.

    “North Carolina is facing its fourth winter storm this year. While each storm is different, the safety requirements are much the same: watch your local weather forecast, use extreme caution if you must drive in hazardous conditions and play it safe,”  Governor Pat McCrory said.

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