NCDOT preps for icy roads in Richmond County

By: Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — Because it’s better to be safe than slippery, state transportation crews have sprayed brine solution along U.S. 1 and U.S. 74, including portions under construction.

Coastal North Carolina is the more likely recipient of snow and ice in the coming days, said Andrew Barksdale, spokesman for Region 8 of the N.C. Department of Transportation. In fact, North Carolina from I-95 east is under threat, according to the National Weather Service.

“We aren’t … planning to spray brine on any other roads in the county,” Barksdale said Tuesday. But “we are watching the forecast and prepared to spray more roads, if necessary.”

Connector and high-traffic roads are NCDOT’s top priority.

Brine is a solution of roughly one part salt to three parts water. DOT uses it in case of ice or snow because it sticks to the road, preventing slipping and sliding better than unadulterated road salt laid down after a snowfall.

Brining not only is more effective than rock salt, it costs less and prevents road and bridge freeze-ups, according to NCDOT.

At 15 cents per gallon, it costs about $6 to spray a mile of single-lane road with brine. Rock salt would cost more than twice that and could come too late to prevent accidents early into a snowfall.

Twenty-two workers have sprayed 3,600 gallons of brine in Richmond County this week, Barksdale said.

Staff report