From the State Highway Administration:
Crews Spreading Salt, Chemicals and Plowing as Needed
More than 1,400 people are actively fighting today’s storm, which is dropping several inches of snow across much of Maryland. Crews from the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and Transportation Authority (MDTA) loaded dump trucks with salt this morning and were in place along state (numbered) routes when the first flakes fell. Snow has already stopped falling in the DC metro area and roads are primarily wet, but still may be slippery.
“Our biggest concern right now is the evening commute. With many people leaving work early and schools letting out early, traffic is much heavier than normal and the snow is continuing to fall. Our trucks will be in the same traffic as everyone else and will continue to treat roads with salt, but drivers should expect significantly increased travel time under these conditions,” said State Highway Administrator Neil J. Pedersen. “Please remember to slow down and use caution, rushing during snow won’t get you were you want to go, but instead get you into a crash.”
With temperatures dropping, salt becomes less effective and takes longer to melt snow. SHA maintenance managers in some areas are pre-wetting the salt with salt brine or liquid magnesium chloride, which increases effectiveness of salt at lower temperatures. Additionally, depending on conditions and temperatures, crews pre-treated some interstates with salt brine to get a base coat down on the surface to prevent icing and bonding. However, with all of the treatment, travel tonight could be treacherous as temperatures drop and wet roads freeze, particularly in low areas, on bridges and elevated ramps.
SHA encourages motorists to stay behind and never pass snow plows. The untreated highway is ahead of the snow plow and the plowed, treated highway is behind, so “Don’t Crowd the Plow.”
For updates on roads conditions, log onto www.roads.maryland.gov and click on “CHART” to view live traffic cameras, average speed maps and crash and incident listings.