NCDOT prepares for coming winter weather

- It's time to grab the scarves and winter coats, as the cold weather continues to make its way into the Carolinas.

Many people aren't ready to even think about the "s" word-- snow.  But, in the case it does come in the near future, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is ready to respond.

"It takes months of preparation," said Mecklenburg County Maintenance Engineer Jon Hinson.  "We have to make sure our routes are covered."

Winter weather will be here before we know it.

"Across the state, we have budgeted around $45 million for snow preparations and snow and ice removal," said NCDOT Communications Officer Jen Thompson.  "But should that amount be exceeded, we do have the capability to take additional funds from emergency reserves."

Last winter, the state used around $25 million more than this year's budgeted amount.

"I think we had to spend a little over $70 million last year," said Thompson.  "But every winter is different and it impacts different parts of the state in different ways."

With about 80,000 miles worth of roads to maintain, NCDOT is taking time to get ahead of the winter weather.

"With winter coming in, we want to make preparations and operations are in order," said Hinson.  "So when the time comes, we are ready to hit the ground rolling."

That's why crews ran a snow and ice drill Wednesday to make sure equipment is running smoothly and crews are ready to go,

"We have about 60 NCDOT employees properly trained for winter preparations and storm events," Hinson said.  "And another 15 on-call to be able to respond in case we need them."

When the skies turn grey and the snow does roll in, the truck tires will be hitting the streets to keep the roads clear.

"And if we have to move resources, we have the capability to do that," said Thompson.

When you come across NCDOT trucks on the roads, make sure to leave plenty of distance.

You can always check road conditions by dialing *511, or visiting DriveNC.gov.

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