GDOT Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Contact: 

Kyle Collins

478.232.3331

GDOT ready for East Central Georgia winter weather

TENNILLE–The Georgia Department of Transportation is monitoring the most recent weather forecasts and listed winter advisories creeping further south into the 27-county East Central Georgia (District Two) area. This storm system is multi-layered with heavy rainfall and potential for flooding; icy rain, snow fall and strong wind gusts. This combination could lead to dangerous conditions on our roadways.

Therefore, the District Two maintenance forces have a revised action plan to proactively treat our routes. Georgia DOT will implement the following county work shifts:

  • Area 1 (Putnam, Hancock, Wilkinson, Washington and Baldwin) from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday;
  • Area 2 (Bleckley, Dodge, Laurens, Johnson, Treutlen) on standby to respond as needed;
  • Area 3 (Burke, Jefferson, Glascock, Jenkins, Emanuel) from Friday 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday;
  • Area 4 (Wilkes, Warren, Lincoln, Columbia, Richmond, McDuffie) from Friday 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday;
  • Area 5 (Newton, Jasper, Morgan, Greene, Taliaferro, Oglethorpe) from Friday 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday;
  • Region Wide Crew will also work Friday 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday

Based on weather conditions Saturday morning, Georgia DOT leadership will make further decisions on shift times to handle freezing temperatures predicted for tomorrow evening. Strong winds are expected throughout the storm; as a result there is the potential for downed trees on roadways, which make it even more important for drivers to stay off the roadways except for emergency travel.

During a weather event, Georgia DOT’s strives to maintain “passable” road conditions on two lanes of interstates first, then state routes from the most heavily traveled to the least traveled. Keeping roads safe for emergency vehicles is our first priority.

Georgia DOT has three types of road treatment materials available to ensure motorist safety on our highways. These include brine pre-treatment, which is a salt and water mixture intended to limit ice bonding to the pavement; gravel and salt mix; and a gravel and calcium chloride mix that serves as a de-icing agent for areas vulnerable to freezing, like hills, ramps, bridges, interchanges and overpasses. All materials Georgia DOT applies to roadways follow strict guidelines taking into account pavement temperature, type of precipitation and environmental factors.

During hazardous winter weather conditions, Georgia DOT advises motorists to:

  • Call 511 to report icy conditions on interstates and state routes;
  • If possible, postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible;
  • Do not pass a Georgia DOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as gravel may kick up and could break car windshields — follow at least 100 feet behind Department vehicles;
  • Be aware of Georgia DOT crews working to clear snow and ice from interstates and state routes;
  • SLOW DOWN at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive;
  • Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop; and
  • Beware of black ice (especially on bridges) and watch for fallen trees or power lines

To stay connected during winter events, visit Winter Weather. Media and citizens are encouraged follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GDOTEast) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/GDOTEastTraffic) for live roadway updates.

Georgia DOT urges travelers to exercise caution and call 511 for updated information on roadway conditions before getting on the road during a winter weather event. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including winter weather closures, reports of icing or other hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information available at www.511ga.org.