Snow and ice clearing crews are readying equipment for winter weather. They are on call and will be on duty as needed in Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Chattooga, and Pickens counties stating at 10 p.m. tonight.
When winter precipitation begins in these counties, Georgia DOT’s trucks will spread small ‘89 stone’ to increase traction and salt to help prevent the snow from bonding to the road surface and plow as the snow accumulates. Crews will focus their road clearing efforts first on the interstates and heavily travelled primary highways, and move to the secondary system as conditions warrant.
This is the first regional winter weather event since the State Transportation Board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia allowing for travel advisories to be posted on electronic billboards around the metro Atlanta region.
"Our member companies are excited to partner with the Georgia Department of Transportation to alert drivers to needed winter weather traffic info," OAAG President Ray Moyers said. "Our industry is committed to serving the public through these kinds of relationships." The messages will be posted at no charge to the Georgia DOT. There are more than 120 electronic billboards around the Metro Atlanta region, and the messages can be tailored specifically to the area where the sign is located.
GADOT advises motorists to check current road conditions and to drive cautiously Tuesday morning, especially at the higher elevations and on bridges and over passes.
Motorists are urged to:
·Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and snowplows or hopper spreaders.
·Do not pass. The snow clearing trucks.
·Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps late tonight and the early hours of tomorrow morning.
·Remember that technology helps, but only to a point. Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial advancements in today's cars, trucks and SUVs, but they can't take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on snowy or icy roads.
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 is available at www.511ga.org. For information on the Department of Transportation, visit (www.dot.ga.gov); you also may follow Georgia DOT on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).