ATLANTA, GA – Georgia DOT is ready to tackle this season’s first potentially significant winter weather event which is expected to occur just days ahead of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
Based on predictions of weather which could impact travel on Tuesday, beginning on Monday morning Georgia DOT crews began to pretreat major interstates, state routes, overpasses and bridges in Georgia with a brine mixture to prevent or limit the build-up of ice. Pre-treatment for metro Atlanta and middle Georgia will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday. As part of this effort, crews will be treating routes on which both Super Bowl teams must travel en route to and from practice venues.
“Georgia DOT has been working closely with the City of Atlanta, the Super Bowl Host Committee and all of the contributing offices and agencies to prepare for the Super Bowl LIII for the past two years. A major part of our preparation is the understanding that there would be a possibility for winter weather during the 10-day period leading up to the big game, and we are ready to handle whatever comes our way,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry said. “During this period and at all times, Georgia DOT is committed to clearing our roadways and keeping our transportation system as safe as possible for residents and guests visiting Atlanta for the festivities.”
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.
Within the past five years, Georgia DOT has increased its resources, monitoring devices and deployment services to prepare for winter weather events, including:
- Additional brine-making and snow removal equipment
- Construction of additional salt barns and material storage facilities
- Expansion of statewide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) features to allow the department to use weather sensor data from neighboring states and general aviation airports.
The Department will also deploy designated teams, including increased staffing of Georgia DOT’s HERO and CHAMP teams to respond to specific types of incidents as needed; brine distribution teams dispensing brine before and during a winter weather event; interstate teams with snow plows and material spreaders treating the interstates around metro Atlanta; special response teams to specifically address conditions as they arise; and traffic strike teams consisting of employees from GDOT and other state agencies to focus on clearing incidents on major interstates and roadways in metro Atlanta.
Overall, motorists are cautioned to be aware of ice that may occur whenever there is moisture on the roadway amid freezing temperatures. 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 extremely cautious when driving through inclement weather conditions.
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, and reports of icing or other hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes. Callers can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org. For information about Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov.