GDOT crews to brine roads in CSRA ahead of possible black ice conditions

GDOT crews to brine roads in CSRA ahead of possible black ice conditions

AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - Georgia Department of Transportation crews across the state have been busy, trying to get ahead of upcoming wintry weather.

According to a news release, the department “has made strategic investments in additional equipment and resources to help keep roadways clear and safe during winter storms and other inclement weather events. Statewide, Georgia DOT stands at the ready with approximately 1,900 employees on call, 54,030 tons of salt, 65,460 tons of gravel, storage capacity for 900,000 gallons of brine and more than 420 pieces of snow removal equipment.”

The CSRA’s roadways are part of that investment.

“A pretty strong cold front is going to be headed our way.”

FOX 54 First Alert meteorologist Pierce Legion said it's expected to mainly bring rain Tuesday.

As nighttime falls, temperatures are expected to quickly drop into the 20s Tuesday night and any moisture left on the roads will freeze over.

“That flash freeze could really be a problem late Tuesday night into first thing Wednesday morning,” Legion said.

That’s why GDOT crews and a contractor are spraying a salt-water mixture along Interstate 20 from Newton County to Augusta, the Bobby Jones Expressway and primary state roads north of I-20.

GDOT spokesperson Kyle Collins said trucks carrying about 5,000 gallons of brine will be out 12 hours at a time, starting at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday night.

“We’ll also try to hit some ramps and over passes if we can. In addition to what’s not touched with brine, we’ll do a salt and light gravel mixture to ensure that that ice doesn’t stick or form or become solid,” Collins added.

You’ll likely notice the flashing lights of their vehicles. It’s important to keep a safe distance away and drive carefully.

Since there is a threat of black ice, you’ll want to take it easy Wednesday morning.

“Any spot that looks wet first thing Wednesday morning likely will be icy., so just keep that in mind, too. Just take it a little bit slow first thing in the morning," Legion said.

If you spot any trouble areas, GDOT’s spokesperson said you can dial 5-1-1 OR reach out to GDOT on social media.

Legion said any icy roads should become less of a problem late Wednesday morning into the afternoon as temps jump above freezing again..

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Maintenance crews with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will treat some roads in our area with a salt water solution to prepare for a flash freeze expected Tuesday into Wednesday.

Since the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts a flash freeze Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, black ice is always a possibility and the reason Georgia DOT pretreats with salt-water brine.

Our maintenance forces along with contractor DBI Services will begin around 7 p.m. today spraying brine in the following areas and also Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Interstate 20 from Newton County to Augusta;

Interstate 520 Augusta area;

Primary state routes north of I-20

Georgia DOT teams will also salt potential bridge and overpass trouble spots Tuesday and Wednesday morning as needed in the same areas and in the southern part of our district around the I-16 corridor.

Please give these tankers and trucks space to work and know they must travel at slower speeds.

The latest NWS update says a strong cold front means black ice warnings to both north and central Georgia Tuesday, Jan. 29, with possible travel impacts as well as very cold temperatures lingering into Wednesday, Jan. 30. NWS points of focus include:

Black Ice: Black ice will be possible even in areas that receive little to no snow accumulation as temperatures drop below freezing through the day Tuesday but especially Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Wind Chills: Wind chills will drop into the low to mid teens across much of the area with single digits expected in the North Georgia mountains late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Gusty Winds: Winds will rapidly increase behind the cold front during the day Tuesday and persist into Tuesday night. Expect northwest winds around 15-20 mph with gusts up to 25-30 mph.

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