GDOT: Stay off Roads

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Conditions overnight, including increased sleet and snow, are expected to create extremely dangerous driving conditions during the night and Thursday morning,

Officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation are urging motorists to say off the road until at least mid-day Thursday.

GDOT and local crews will be working through the night to treat roads, but they are urging everyone to stay off the roads, unless travel is absolutely essential.

“Roadway conditions are treacherous. Please stay put,” said GDOT Spokeswoman Kimberly Larson. “Additional traffic on the roads will compound already perilous conditions.”

Coweta County Road Department crews have salt/sand spreader trucks and can use motor graders to scrape the roads. The city of Newnan has trucks that can dispense a salt/sand mixture, and crews from the county and various municipalities will also be hand spreading sand, salt, and gravel.

By 9:30 Wednesday night, the intersection of Ga. Hwys. 54 and 74 was shut down, according to Kimberly Larson at GDOT. All traffic signals at the intersection were down.

“Please, this is a very serious situation,” said Karlene Barron, GDOT communications director. “The department is utilizing all of its assets and available personnel to treat roadways but temperatures will remain below freezing making traveling still treacherous.”

GDOT crews are focusing in the interstates and heavily traveled federal and state roadways. County crews focus on major county roads, while Newnan crews treat city and state roads.

When traveling, motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously, allowing extra space between themselves and any other vehicles, and avoiding sudden braking or accelerating.

Motorists should also stay well behind any vehicles treating roadways.

In Coweta, the biggest problem, as of 9 p.m., was trees falling in the roadways, said Jay Jones, Coweta Emergency Management Director.

The county, through Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn, secured additional salt from the state to treat the roads, Jones said.

There had been accidents but “they have been minimal,” Jones said.

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