Interstates carry the heaviest volumes of traffic and serve as the backbone for the nation’s commerce network. As a result, we focus on clearing at least one/two lanes and on/off ramps on the interstate system, including I-75, I-85, I-20 and I-285.
- Multi-lane State Routes
Multiple-lane state routes usually feed into the interstates and are our secondary focus.
- Two-lane State Routes
Once we are able to clear and maintain a passable lane or lanes on our interstates and multi-lane state routes, we then focus on clearing two-lane state routes.
- Several contractors have signed agreements and are ready to assist GA DOT to address hazardous winter precipitation.
- We focus on maintaining two open lanes on the interstates - not every lane. This focus assists us to keep the most-traveled routes open for emergency travel. Second priority is the highest-traffic-volume state routes.
- We’ve added 11 new material locations along interstates to allow for quicker, targeted and continuous response when needed.
- New equipment including snowplows, liquid saddlebag tanks for dump trucks, liquid deicer sprayers and a brine maker are now part of our arsenal.
- A coordination plan with Local Governments is now in place to share information. We are working collaboratively to strategically pool our resources and response. We trained Local Governments and developed a website for sharing information.
- We are coordinating with other state agencies; GEMA and GSP utilizing the Storm Ops Center based on Emergency Situational Response.
- Our outreach efforts have exponentially increased utilizing our existing website, message boards along our transportation network, Facebook and Twitter.
- Internal process improvements are in place; staggered shifts; provide cell phones to metro area dump truck; and follow vehicle drivers to enhance our real time information sharing.
- Across the affected parts of the state, nearly all Georgia DOT personnel will be on call.
- Approximately 2,130 Georgia DOT maintenance and construction employees are available for active duty across the state
- The Georgia DOT maintains a staging area in most counties. These county maintenance buildings each stockpile salt, fine gravel, fuel and any supplies needed for emergencies.
- The Georgia DOT’s Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs) will be monitoring traffic along I-85, I-75, I-20, I-285 and other freeways in the metro Atlanta area in order to assist motorists with car trouble or to help clear accidents and stalls from the roadway.
- In the metro Atlanta area, the traffic operators at the Transportation Management Center in southeast Atlanta constantly monitor the traffic cameras along the interstates looking for signs that roads are icing up and relay those locations to the maintenance office.
- Communications personnel across the state will be at the Transportation Management Center and the district offices to provide constant updates to the media.
- We monitor all local weather reports on television and radio, in addition to receiving regularly updated weather information from the National Weather Service and other sources.
- Road Weather Information System (RWIS) – roadway sensors in 15 new locations around the metro area, one in Macon and 11 in north Georgia will help more confidently predict weather conditions on roads, including the ice, temperature, precipitation and wind. Locations and the number of sensors were determined by the GEMA taskforce.
- Additional cameras and Changeable Message Signs (CMS) have been added to the Navigator Intelligent Transportation System to assist in monitoring and deploying resources during a weather event.
- Single and/or double-axle dump trucks with snowplows attached to the front to push the snow and ice from the roadways.
- Single and/or double-axle dump trucks with hopper spreaders or tailgate spreaders attached to the rear to distribute the salt/gravel mixture and brine used for de-icing the roads.
- Single and/or double-axle dump trucks with both salt/gravel spreaders and snowplows attached.
- Multi-lane tow plows – allow one dump truck to clear two lanes in one pass. The Department has five tow plows to be dispatched around the State as needed to remove snow and ice from interstates and multi-lane state routes.
- Tractor-type motor graders for moving snow.
- Chainsaws for removing trees and branches from the roadway.
- Brine maker and tanks - Brine maker creates a liquid form of salt that can be stored for use as needed. New distribution tanks are added to the hopper spreaders that distribute the solid form of salt and gravel. The new saddlebag tanks allow an operator to spread the liquid mixture and the solid mixture together or just spread the solid mixture on the roadway using one dump truck. All new spreaders have liquid saddlebag tanks for distribution. District offices also have new holding tanks that can store up to 5,000 gallons of brine:
- Ten 5000-gallon tankers are available to apply brine treatment to Metro Atlanta interstates; and
- An automated brine production unit, including a 100,000-gallon storage tank, is in place.
By the Numbers
In addition to training work crews for 12-hour shifts, the following equipment and materials are stockpiled and ready in these areas. These statewide district resources can be moved to most-needed areas during a winter weather event.
- 2,000 employees on call covering 39,919 lane miles
- 35,235 tons of salt
- 39,621 tons of gravel
- 400 snow removal equipment units
District 1 - Northeast Georgia
- 328 employees on call covering 5,667 lane miles
- 12,000 tons of salt
- 6,000 tons of gravel
- 160 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (404) 274-6436
District 2 - East Central Georgia
- 274 employees on call covering 7,518 lane miles
- 3,375 tons of salt
- 7,249 tons of gravel
- 65 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (478) 552-4656
District 3 - West Central Georgia
- 342 employees on call covering 3,600 lane miles
- 5,500 tons of salt
- 3,259 tons of gravel
- 15 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (706) 741-3439
District 4 - Southwest Georgia
- 285 employees on call covering 8,135 lane miles
- 510 tons of salt
- 500 tons of gravel
- 12 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (229) 326-5435
District 5 - Southeast Georgia
- 306 employees on call covering 6,882 lane miles
- 200 tons of salt
- 4,963 tons of gravel
- 12 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (912) 424-6643
District 6 - Northwest Georgia
- 257 employees on call covering 5,117 lane miles
- 4,000 tons of salt
- 7,650 tons of gravel
- 65 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (770) 359-9523
District 7 - Metro Atlanta
- 249 employees on call covering approximately 3,000 lane miles
- 9,650 tons of salt
- 10,000 tons of gravel
- 72 snow removal equipment units
- Contact: (404) 631-1814 | (770) 986-1788
- Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary; postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible.
- Do not pass a Georgia DOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as gravel may kick up and could break car windshields. Follow at least 100 feet behind Department vehicles.
- Be aware of Georgia DOT crews working to clear the snow and ice from interstates and state routes.
- SLOW DOWN at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive.
- Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop.
- Beware of black ice (especially on bridges) and watch for fallen trees or power lines.