BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (aiexpress) – The roadways in central Alabama have been undergoing preparations by the Alabama Department of Transportation for days in anticipation of an approaching arctic blast.
ALDOT engineer Dee McDaniel explained that the ALDOT is currently getting roadways ready in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, and St. Clair counties. This preparation takes place in two phases: pre-treatment and active treatment. During the pre-treatment phase, the ALDOT utilizes various chemicals to decrease the freezing point of surfaces.
According to McDaniel, the purpose is to ensure that the liquid remains in a liquid state for a longer period of time. This will allow individuals to safely return home and actively address any ice or snow accumulation that may occur later on.
The ALDOT is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of roadways in all four counties by applying salt. As temperatures plummet below freezing, McDaniel emphasized their commitment to actively melting and drying roads through active treatment.
McDaniel explained that when the active treatments begin, they will apply a salt brine known as hot brine. This mixture consists of liquid calcium chloride and water, which will be spread on the roadways. In addition to the liquid acetate used on the bridges, they also have dry acetate pellets that will be used on both the roads and bridges until the supply is depleted.
Melissa Sizemore from the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency expressed concerns over the impending Arctic blast set to hit central Alabama.
According to Sizemore, the weather forecast is uncertain, as it is unclear whether it will snow, sleet, or rain. However, regardless of the type of wintry precipitation, there will be a light coating. Sizemore emphasized the need for extreme caution on Monday and Tuesday, as certain types of wintry precipitation can have a greater impact than others.
ALDOT and EMA officials are urging drivers to avoid traveling on the roads until conditions improve in the next few days.