State getting ready for winter

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is preparing for what forecasters predict will be a cooler and wetter season.

“Icy and snowy roads can create dangerous driving situations for motorists,” Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett said. “Keeping North Carolina’s roadways safe is one of our top priorities and we use a number of methods, from pretreating roads with an anti-icing agent to clearing and salting them, to help our citizens travel safely.”

Anti-icing is a process in which a chemical treatment is sprayed on roadways up to 48 hours before winter precipitation. The anti-icing agent coats the roadways and prevents ice and snow from bonding to the surface. Use of the agent is a preventive measure that saves time and allows the department to allocate its resources more efficiently.

For information on winter weather preparedness, visit

In addition to preventive treatments, NCDOT is ready to use salt to treat roadways after precipitation has accumulated. The department is able to store more than 150,000 tons of salt and uses between 50,000 and 60,000 tons during a typical winter.

NCDOT has more than 3,100 pieces of equipment and more than 6,000 employees available to clear state-maintained roadways. The department’s array of snow and ice clearing equipment includes more than 2,500 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders, 632 front-end loaders and backhoes, 650 motor graders and five snow blowers.

The agency gives first priority to clearing interstates and four-lane divided primary routes that are essential to the movement of intrastate and regional traffic. After these roads are clear, priority moves to clearing lower volume primary roads and other secondary routes.

The complete snow clearing policy can be found at: