Georgia Department of Transportation announced that crews will begin brine treatment of interstates, state routes, bridges and overpasses on Sunday morning in preparation of the projected arrival of wintery precipitation in the early hours of Monday morning. Because it is imperative that Georgia DOT crews have the ability and the room to treat the roadways, bridges and overpasses, the public is encouraged to eliminate any unnecessary travel to be sure to provide Georgia DOT crews plenty of space on the roadways.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Special Weather Statement for portions of Georgia, including Union, Carroll, Gordon, Dawson, White, Murray, Catoosa, Cobb, Floyd, Troup, Fannin, Coweta, Dade, Fayette, Paulding, Forsyth, Douglas, DeKalb, Gilmer, Haralson, Walker, North Fulton, Lumpkin, Whitfield, Chattooga, Polk, Clayton, South Fulton, Hall, Heard, Cherokee Bartow, Meriwether, Towns, Harris, Pickens, and Gwinnett counties.
Potential impacts include hazardous travel due to slick roads, especially bridges and overpasses. According to the NWS, cold temperatures will continue across Georgia.
Georgia DOT crews from around the state will begin work on Sunday morning. A second shift of crews will monitor conditions and continue treatment overnight on bridges from 9 p.m. on Sunday night to 9 a.m. Monday morning. Additional HERO units will monitor assigned routes and CHAMP operators will double their efforts in the Northwest and Northeast portions of the state and along the Interstate 20 corridor.
- Crews from District 1 located in the Northeast portion of the state will provide additional resources to HWY 316.
- Crews from District 2 located in East Central Georgia will begin operations on I-20, I-520 and additional emergency routes.
- Crews from District 3 located in West Central Georgia will begin operations on interstates and interchanges on I-85 from Exit 35 to I-285 and on I-75 from Exit 201 to 228 and additional secondary routes, bridges and overpasses in Henry, Spalding, Coweta, Heard, Fayette and Butts. Area crews in other areas will be monitoring and on standby.
- Crews from District 4 located in the Southwest portion of the state will be on standby.
- Crews from District 5 located in the Southeast portion of the state will be on standby and have sent additional brine crews to the metro area.
- Crews from District 6 located in Northwest Georgia have begun brine operations in preparation of the winter event moving into the state.
- Crews from District 7 located in the Atlanta metro area will brine on interstates and state routes including venue routes for the National Football Championship game.
The threat of winter weather means that motorists should seriously consider alternatives to driving to work in metro Atlanta on Monday. Traffic in metro Atlanta is already expected to be heavier than normal through the remainder of the weekend and on Monday as Atlanta gears up for Monday’s College Football National Championship Game between the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown Atlanta. Commuters who work in Downtown or Midtown Atlanta are advised to telework if possible or take transit on Monday. Additionally, officials have announced early closures for state and local government offices in metro Atlanta on Monday.
MARTA will offer additional rail service beginning at 5 a.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday. Rail service will operate on a weekday schedule on Sunday with trains arriving more frequently. On Monday, all rail lines will provide service with more frequency and additional trains will be added as needed. Commuters are also urged to use GRTA Xpress Bus Serviceto get into and around the city.
During hazardous winter weather conditions, Georgia DOT advises motorists to:
- Call 5-1-1 to report icy conditions on interstates, state routes, overpasses and bridges;
- If possible, postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible;
- Pay attention to Georgia DOT trucks spreading materials and, stay back a safe distance;
- 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 and other emergency crews working to clear snow, ice, debris and potential downed trees or power lines 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 icy patches (especially on bridges) and watch for fallen trees or power lines
Before getting on the road during winter weather Georgia DOT urges motorists to call 511 for updated information on roadway conditions. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including closures and reports of icing or other hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes. Callers can transfer to operators to request complimentary vehicle assistance on interstate highways across Georgia from the Highway Emergency Response Operators (HERO) and the Coordinated Highway Assistance & Maintenance (CHAMP) programs – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 511 for vehicle assistance or to report an issue. Visit www.511ga.org.