Georgia DOT prepared for winter weather conditions, asks for drivers' courtesy on the road
MACON, Ga. -- In Georgia, it's common knowledge that ice, snow and drivers just don't mix.
In the past, the state had few resources to keep the roads clear of ice, but over the course of the last five years the Georgia Department of Transportation made a few large scale changes and is now better prepared than ever for winter weather.
Even with winter weather ahead, people still need to get out and go about their business.
One worker said, "I still got to go to work. I still got to make a paycheck."
Another, commenting on the winter weather conditions, said, "It wouldn't hurt for the DOT to go on and get on it."
The DOT is better equipped to help drivers through winter conditions before they become an issue.
One lot in Milledgeville is one of dozens scattered across the state prepared to tackle icy weather before it even arrives by using tools such as brine trucks.
Kyle Collins with the DOT said, "It's a salt and water mixture that prevents that ice and snow from sticking to the roadway. It's a pre-treatment to make sure the roads don't get too slick."
Collins said that one of the best new additions to the expanded DOT winter team are trucks with an attachable snow plow blade.
"It doesn't take long to put it on. There's also a salt spreader on the back. Specific to the application of black ice that you talked about if they hit a bad patch while patrolling, they can lower that thing, knock it out and they don't have to wait for equipment to take maybe 30 min or an hour to get there," Collins said.
It's part of a team of nearly 2,000 workers covering almost 40,000 miles of lanes.
Even with more than 54 thousand tons of salt, 65 thousand tons of gravel, 426 snow removal teams with a plow, hopper and truck, and storage for more than half a million gallons of brine, the DOT still needs drivers' assistance when they're out working the roads.
Collins emphasized, "If we do have an event whether it's brine or we're applying salt and gravel mixture for folks, it's important to slow down and be aware on the roadways and not try to crowd us. Give us room to work to get the roads back open."
When going out, make sure to give the gravel trucks at least 100 feet of space to avoid ending up with a cracked windshield.
Crews will treat interstates and bridges first before moving on to state highways and other busy streets.