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GDOT, MARTA preparing for icy roads

11:31 PM, Feb 11, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Transportation learned a valuable lesson during the last winter storm - that timing is everything.

They want to ensure that the road crews get on the roads before the ice begins to form on the area's highways.

Most roadways in metro Atlanta were pretty clear. It appears most people took the warnings from the governor pretty seriously and stayed at home. But the dangerous icy weather and conditions are yet to come and GDOT says it is important to get their plans in place.

They said they planned to dispatch 10 crews overnight, each with multiple vehicles, and ready to treat the area's roadways. Crews will work 12-hour shifts in effort to keep roads open.

They said the primary goal is to treat the two inside lanes of each interstate highway, then they plan to move to the major state routes. GDOT says the cleared lanes are not to be confused with being there for people to drive on them. They are primarily for emergency crews and for their own trucks to continue treating the roadways.

Another reminder from GDOT - big rigs should stay outside the Perimeter. They are asking all trucks to stay outside the city and to avoid I-20. Some drivers we spoke with said they would be staying off the roads entirely for the next two days.

"I'm staying home - I'll call off sick," said one driver. "I'll just chance it. I just hope I've got a job when I get back."

GDOT says they'll continue to fine-tune and adjust the plans as needed.

MARTA officials said bus service would be canceled for Wednesday, and that rail service would be run on a weekend schedule.

MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris says service will begin at 4:35 a.m. Wednesday and trains are expected to run about every 15 minutes until around 2 a.m. Thursday. Rail passengers are asked to plan for delays.

Although MARTA buses won't be operating on scheduled routes, officials say some will be deployed as warming stations for drivers, truckers and others.

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