During inclement weather, when will NC DOT clear my road?

Raleigh, NC – During inclement weather, most residents want to find out when their road will be cleared. The North Carolina Deportment of Transportation (NCDOT) has established policies regarding the order in which roads are cleared. Their Snow Clearing Policy outlines the priority order for clearing snow and ice from roadways.

Jones Ferry Road

Jones Ferry Road in NE Chatham County on a snowy afternoon.
photo by Gene Galin

NC DOT Snow Clearing Policy

It is the policy of the Division of Highways not to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, nor is it the policy to clear driveways and/or driveway entrances of snow and ice.

It is the policy of the Division of Highways to provide for the removal of snow and ice in the following order of priority:

1.Those routes included in the Bare Pavement System. These generally consist of all interstate and four-lane divided primary routes and other primary and secondary routes considered to be essential to the fulfillment of the overall objectives of snow and ice removal – the movement of intrastate traffic. The routes included in the Bare Pavement System should be reviewed annually by the division engineer. He will include new routes and delete old routes as deemed necessary.

He will assure continuity of the bare pavement routes from county to county and district to district within the division. Once the Bare Pavement System is finalized, it will be submitted to the State Road Maintenance Unit. The Maintenance Unit will assure the continuity of bare pavement routes from division to division.

2.Other U.S. and N.C. Routes not included in the Bare Pavement System.

3. Other paved secondary routes not included in the Bare Pavement System.

4.Unpaved secondary routes.

The Bare Pavement Policy provides for the direct application of deicing chemicals to those routes included in the Bare Pavement System. This policy also requires that these routes will be the first cleared of snow and ice following a storm. Insofar as is possible and practical, traffic will be kept moving on these routes during a storm; however, it is not the policy to maintain a “bare pavement” throughout the course of all storms. Those routes not on the Bare Pavement System will be cleared by plowing operations and without direct application of deicing chemicals except in cases of extreme emergency. These emergencies will normally be limited to specific locations (shaded areas on hills, super-elevated curves, etc.) where extremely hazardous conditions exist.

It is the policy of the Division of Highways that the application of chlorides to the travel ways of the system shall be consistent with our objectives to protect the environment. The recommended application rates are considered to be correct and proper for the various weather and highway conditions indicated and heavier applications are discouraged. Highway Maintenance Engineer should identify environmentally sensitive areas within their individual areas of responsibility that may require alternative application rates and devise special instructions for snow and ice removal techniques for roads adjacent to these locations.