NCDOT: Preparations for winter storm have been months in the making

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation is starting preparations for crews to treat the roads ahead of this weekend’s winter storm.

Officials told Channel 9 that preparations have been months in the making.

[TRACKING: Winter storm watch issued for much of Charlotte area]

Starting as early as September, NCDOT officials said, they have been checking equipment, assigning treatment routes and practicing snow drills.

Winter Weather Resources:

"It's going to be all-hands-on-deck and once we get started, we work around the clock until this event is over with,” said Jen Thompson, a spokesperson with the NCDOT.

For some contract crews, 12-hour shifts are about to begin.

Crews are treating major interstates such as I-77 and I-85, and then onto U.S. and state primary roads.

"Our goal is to safely and efficiently remove anything that's out there in the road and we have to do that until everything is cleared. That's our policy,” Thompson said.

By Sunday, NCDOT expects up to 100 salt and snowplow trucks hitting the roads.

This weekend, NCDOT, is expecting a mixture of rain, sleet and snow, which has some drivers guessing at their own personal preparations.


Crews have already pre-treated our interstates with 205,000 gallons of salt brine. 

Brine is a solution of water and about 23 percent salt. You've probably seen the white residue on the area roads already. 

It keeps snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. 

DOT will use sand, but not until the storm actually hits. Plow trucks clear as much snow as possible, then crews spread a mix of salt and sand on the roads to melt what is left and to add extra traction. 

"I just go with the flow and wait for it,” driver Marquiessa Rhodes said.

“Anywhere from eight inches,” driver Matt Weddle said. “I don't think we'll get that much, but you got to prepare anyways."

Some say having a big car with big tires always helps.

“If it snows or rains, I'm not worried about that,” Rhodes said. “It's only the ice that scares me."

“I have a smaller car and I'm not trying to get on the roads if I don't have to,” Weddle said.

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