SHA Crews Out in Force; Motorists Urged to Use Extreme Caution
BALTIMORE (January 30, 2010) - The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration is out in full force performing salting operations and plowing snow from interstates and highways. Pavement and air temperatures are well below freezing dropping into the low 20's and teens, and snow continues to fall at a heavy rate.
"What was originally forecast as a storm aiming for only Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore has grown into a statewide storm. We are urging Marylanders everywhere to reconsider travel plans and stay home to allow crews access to plow and salt roadways. If motorists must travel, it is imperative to use extreme caution and plan plenty of extra driving time," said Neil J. Pedersen, SHA Administrator. "SHA crews will continue to treat the roadways through the night to reach bare pavement as soon as possible."
Motorists are urged to use caution, particularly on bridges, ramps and overpasses, freeze first. Heightened caution is also required on transitional points (ramps and acceleration lanes) between interstates and secondary roadways. Drivers should be on their most alert and be prepared to drive very slowly - well below the posted speed limits, which are posted for ideal weather conditions. Although the ramps and mainline lanes may be passable, it is possible that acceleration and deceleration lanes will be snow covered, causing a sudden merge condition. Drifting snow will also be a problem as winds increase.
SHA currently has nearly 2,000 pieces of equipment deployed throughout the State and has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Statewide Operations Center in Hanover.
Snow plows and plow trains (multiple snow plows in tandem) require a large area to safely operate. Motorists should never pass a snow plow or plow train. The untreated roadway is ahead of the plows, the safer roadway is behind them.
For the latest road conditions, log onto http://roads.maryland.gov/ and click on CHART. Citizens can also call the Winter Storm hotline at 1-800-327-3125 for a recorded message with weather and roadway condition updates.