Update: GDOT says the worst is over

Updated at 12:55 p.m.

Metro Atlanta highways are well on their way to being clear, according to GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

Though crews continue to spread brine on area highways, road temperatures across the region are well above freezing, Dale said. Temperatures will drop later, but wind and sun have helped dry pavement, which will reduce the chance of re-freezing.

Dale said crews continue to find and treat icy spots and likely will keep doing that through the weekend. She said all crews will remain on call. But it appears the worst is over.

“It looks like we are past the first winter storm of 2017,” she said.

Updated at 11:05 a.m.

Metro Atlanta roads are warming as temperatures rise throughout the morning. 
GDOT has 55 sensors tracking the temperature of pavement on highways across the state. Sensors indicate that pavement on almost all highways in metro Atlanta are now above freezing, according to GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale. 
That’s good news for crews trying to de-ice state and interstate highways.
Another update: Dale says there have been 232 accidents and other incidents – including stalls – on Georgia highways since midnight. That’s high for a weekend, she said.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. 

GDOT will begin applying a new round of brine to metro Atlanta interstates at 10 a.m.

Spokeswoman Natalie Dale said it will take six to eight hours and 100,000 gallons of brine to treat the interstates. The brine will prevent refreezing and help melt remaining ice, she said.

Meanwhile, the department continues to apply salt to icy patches across the region.

GDOT continues to urge the public to stay off the road. If you must drive, give crews plenty of room to work.


Original post

Many metro Atlanta residents are waking up to find little or no snow this morning — but don't let that fool you.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says roads in many areas are still slick with ice. There have been 35 crashes since 4 a.m. statewide — higher than normal for a Saturday.

Traffic hassles abounded for those who had to drive. A tractor trailer was stuck on the ramp from I-85 north to I-285 east south of Atlanta, blocking traffic behind. Another semi slid from one side of I-85 to another at Ga. 20 in Gwinnett County.

“The fact is they need to stay off the roads,” GDOT spokesman Scott Higley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning.

GDOT crews are applying salt and brine to the region's state and interstate highways. Higley said conditions are worse in the northern metro area, which received more snow and ice. But isolated patches in the south and central metro area also are icy.

Dale Brantley, GDOT state maintenance engineer, said he was generally pleased with the condition of roads.

With temperatures in the 20s, many roads were not icing over, thanks to the application of salt and brine, Brantley said. But he said crews are still targeting icy spots as they find them.

With sun and wind, Brantley said roads in the south metro area — which received only freezing rain — may be clear by this afternoon. But in the northern metro area and mountains — where snow fell — snow plowed to the side of the roads may melt and freeze later. Brantley said it may be Monday before those roads are in good shape.

Despite the slick conditions, Higley called the way the winter storm played out overnight “the best-case scenario.” Atlanta appears to have dodged the type of snowfall predicted as late as 10 p.m. last night.

There was little traffic on routes like I-285 and I-20 this morning. Higley said he’s glad it’s a Saturday, and not a Friday morning, when many more motorists – fooled by the lack of snow – might try to get to work.

“If it were Friday, it would be disastrous,” he said.