NEWS RELEASE

WINTER WEATHER TO AFFECT MARYLAND THIS WEEKEND

Crews Pretreating Roads with Salt Brine Ahead of Storm

(January 11, 2019) – Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) crews are actively preparing for a winter storm approaching Maryland from the south. Contractor crews are pretreating roads with salt brine and readying snow removal equipment in anticipation of winter operations Saturday and Sunday.

Forecast models call for most of Maryland to be affected by the storm, with heavier accumulations in southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore. The storm’s arrival on a weekend when traffic volumes are significantly lower than work days is positive, but drivers are still reminded to be safe and vigilant on the roads.

With pretreating complete by Saturday, crews will begin staging Saturday evening, so a rapid deployment can be implemented once precipitation begins. MDOT SHA and contractor crews will continue to work until all lanes and shoulders are clear. Motorists are encouraged to limit travel and get errands complete before the storm begins late Saturday.

MDOT SHA has launched the Statewide Transportation Operations Resources Map (STORM) web application for citizens to track MDOT SHA winter operations in real-time with a 30-minute history. For access to MDOT SHA winter fact sheets and other valuable information, click here.

Additionally, MDOT SHA will pre-position heavy-duty wreckers in strategic locations known to be challenging to commercial vehicles. Should a tractor trailer become disabled, the wreckers can respond immediately and free the truck, so crews can continue to treat the pavement efficiently and effectively. Should the storm produce six or more inches of snow, MDOT SHA offers certain park-and-rides to truckers to ride out the storm. Click here for a list of locations. 

For motorists who travel, “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow,” and remember that speed limits are set for ideal (dry) conditions. Drivers are also reminded to not pass snow plows. The safest place to be is in the back of a snow plow or plow trains.

MDOT SHA encourages motorists to keep a sharp eye on the weather conditions and plan accordingly for the afternoon commute. Crews will be treating roads alongside hundreds of thousands of motorists during the afternoon commute, which makes treating roads during the storm challenging. 

Motorists are urged to monitor the forecast as threat levels can change throughout the day and visit md511.maryland.gov for real-time travel alerts and conditions. Customers may also follow MDOT SHA on Twitter @MDSHA and “like” us on Facebook.

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