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Maryland State Highway Administration Braces For Storm

November 24th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

With the potential for heavy rain and wet snow on the busiest travel day of the year, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is strongly encouraging travelers to avoid driving Wednesday. As meteorologists continue to refine the forecast, SHA advises that any precipitation in the Baltimore/Washington/Frederick metropolitan areas will create additional delays that were already expected to be significant the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

“While pavement temperatures are warm, any prolonged snow fall will quickly change that and road conditions could be slippery and difficult to navigate, even with our crews salting and plowing. Driving in heavy snow, with limited visibility, is no way to spend the holiday,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “Travelers, particularly professional truck drivers and distributors, need to pay close attention to forecasts and adjust plans.  If you planned to travel Wednesday, please consider altering your schedule and drive Tuesday or Thursday instead.”

SHA reminds truck drivers that emergency parking is available during significant snowstorms and during poor visibility.  Tractor trailer drivers may make use of several commuter park and ride lots listed on a mobile application.  Click here to view the map.

SHA will activate the Emergency Operations Center near BWI Marshall Airport to monitor and manage storm response throughout the State.  More than 2,400 pieces of equipment are available statewide to plow and apply salt as needed to the State’s numbered routes.  SHA’s traffic patrols, sponsored by State Farm®, operate 24/7 in the metro areas and will be on duty around the clock to assist stranded motorists and manage roadway incidents, enhancing safety and preventing additional traffic impacts.

“No matter which day you travel, remember that Maryland law requires everyone to buckle up, no matter your age or where you are seated in the vehicle,” added Ms. Peters. “Wearing seat belts not only prevents getting a ticket, it is your best defense in a crash.”

For real-time traffic updates, local and out of state travelers should use SHA’s FREE service — the “511 Traveler Information” system.  Know Before You Go! Dial 511 from a land line or mobile phone for traffic, weather alerts and road conditions.  For internet access to view an interactive map and traffic cameras, visit www.MD511.org.

Before leaving, log onto www.roads.maryland.gov and click the CHART icon for the latest road conditions, live traffic cameras and a variety of information to help with travel decisions and planning.  Customers can also follow SHA on Facebook and Twitter (@MDSHA) for general storm information and safety tips.

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