BALTIMORE – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) crews are performing an anti-icing operation, which involves the use of salt brine and water in preparation for a potential winter storm that is expected to begin late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
The storm is expected to begin as a wintry mix for points north and west of the I-95 corridor. Garrett and Allegany counties are expecting icing conditions, so motorists are encouraged to keep updated with forecasts and delay travel in the event of icing.
The application of salt brine is used to prevent precipitation from initially bonding to the pavement. Motorists are encouraged to remain home and off the roads so crews can effectively and efficiently treat the roads.
“We’re asking for motorists’ patience while our crews are out doing their jobs, clearing paths for drivers,” MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith said. “While we encourage everyone to stay home if travel becomes hazardous, those who must go out should remember that the safest spot for people that have to drive is safely behind our equipment.”
MDOT SHA is closely monitoring the forecast and making necessary pre-storm preparations as necessary. Motorists are advised to avoid or delay travel during inclement weather.
The entire state must stay on alert for potentially icy roads and bridges as the storm will coincide with cold air in place. Far Western Maryland is expected to feel the greatest impact while the lower Eastern Shore is expected to get mostly rain. MDOT SHA winter fact sheets and winter driving safety tips are available here.
For those who do have to travel, MDOT SHA offers the following guidelines:
- Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions.
- Use extra caution on elevated surfaces, such as bridges, overpasses, and ramps. These areas freeze first.
- Don’t crowd the plow. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and MDOT SHA equipment.
- Clear snow from the entire vehicle as remaining snow on hoods and roofs can become ice and dislodge during highway travel and pose a hazard to other motorists.
Commercial vehicle drivers are reminded that they can ride out storms that produce six inches or more in selected park-and-ride locations throughout the state. A list of these parks-and-rides are located here.
During and after winter weather events, MDOT SHA crews work to clear and maintain the state’s numbered roadways while local jurisdictions attend to community and residential streets.
The Statewide Transportation Operations Resource Map (STORM) identifies where MDOT SHA and contractual equipment are and where they have been, as well as real-time weather information. MDOT SHA also invites motorists to get the latest travel information, including views of our live traffic cameras that enable smart travel decisions by logging onto our homepage, roads.maryland.gov.