Georgia DOT Preparing for Winter Storm Benji
In preparation for the weather system currently moving across north Georgia, Georgia DOT crews worked overnight to apply a brine mixture on high priority routes, bridges and overpasses from west central Georgia along the I-85 corridor to the metro Atlanta region and areas north. Brine is a mixture of salt and water that is used as a preventative treatment intended to limit bonding of the ice to the pavement. Approximately 150,000 gallons of brine were applied to 2,300 lane miles of roadway in the metro Atlanta area alone, and approximately 200,000 gallons were applied statewide. The Department continues to actively monitor weather and roadway conditions as the storm progresses across the state, and will respond as needed to help ensure the safety of the motoring public. Once the volume of traffic clears, crews will be back out brining the roads again this evening.
While metro Atlanta is currently experiencing extremely high traffic volumes, traffic on the interstates is largely moving smoothly - but slowly. One major incident has been reported, and no routes have been deemed impassable at this time. Due to traffic volume, motorists making their way home should prepare for a longer commute this evening – and are advised to consider all possible routes to reach their destinations. Motorists are also advised to minimize travel in the overnight hours to ensure that Georgia DOT crews can treat and clear roadways.
According to the National Weather Service, Winter Storm Benji is expected to last longer than originally anticipated with snowfall expected until 2 a.m. Saturday. Road temperatures could get close to freezing between sunset and 6 p.m. Friday night. As precipitation continues to fall in parts of north Georgia and metro Atlanta, Georgia DOT district crews are working to the best of their ability to actively plow and spread material on the most affected roadways, and to treat trouble spots as needed. Crews and equipment will be deployed to areas that are most in need.
Georgia DOT urges motorists to use extreme caution and stay off the roads as black ice could result in dangerous conditions, especially on bridges and overpasses. If travel is necessary, BEFORE getting in your car, check road conditions at http://www.dot.ga.gov/WinterWeather or https://www.weather.gov/ffc/gdot_rwis. Georgia DOT will remain in constant contact with the National Weather Service (NWS), the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and other partner agencies throughout the duration of this event.