Responding to the potential for the season’s first significant winter weather event, Georgia DOT crews are pretreating all major interstates across middle, east and north Georgia, spreading brine mixture. Brine is a mixture of salt and water is used as a preventative treatment and is intended to limit the bonding of the ice to the pavement.
Brine operations start tomorrow at 7 a.m. on Interstate 20 from Newton to Richmond County. These tankers will also treat Interstate 520 in Augusta, along with various other major secondary state routes throughout our 27-county district area. Bridges and overpasses are included in the treatment plan.
District personnel will start 12-hour shifts tomorrow morning and continue that protocol until Saturday evening. Citizens should expect to see vehicles deploying brine and also traditional salt and gravel measures throughout Winter Storm Helena.
We will have our crews strategically placed in locations where they can quickly spread the materials on all the major interstates and state routes. But we must have the public’s cooperation in this effort. We cannot spread the materials if we are stuck in traffic; and without the materials on the roadway before the snow hits, we lose a valuable tool in fighting the effects of this winter storm.
Statewide, Georgia DOT stands ready with approximately 1,900 employees on call with 54,030 tons of salt, 65,460 tons of gravel, 450,000 gallons of brine and more than 380 pieces of snow removal equipment.
Overall, motorists are cautioned to be aware of black ice that may occur whenever there is moisture on the roadway in freezing temperatures. This is especially important after the storm leaves and temperatures drop Saturday evening.
Drivers should also watch for Georgia DOT crews working to clear snow and ice from interstates and state routes. These employees are working in a work zone and need to be safe.
Do not pass a Georgia DOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as gravel may kick up and could break car windshields. Motorists should follow at least 100 feet behind Department vehicles and be extra cautious when driving through inclement weather conditions.