UPDATE: GDOT responds to claims it didn't treat roads in N. Geor - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: GDOT responds to claims it didn't treat roads in N. Georgia

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is responding to allegations from a North Georgia sheriff it did not do its job on treating some bridges and overpasses before yesterday's storms.

There were multiple wrecks on I-75 north and southbound Wednesday morning from the state line to the Cloud Springs Road exit.

"It started out with our rush hour traffic. We started getting accidents and it only got complicated from there," says Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk.

Sheriff Sisk says Wednesday morning was a nightmare on I-75.
"We had several serious accidents. No serious injuries, luckily. But any one of them could have. Even while our officers were out there, I was out there myself tending to the accidents, and we were seeing cars coming over the overpasses and turning sideways and witnessing several accidents ourselves," says Sheriff Sisk.

He did not mince words on GDOT's preparedness.

READ MORE | Multiple wrecks on I-75, Sheriff questions GDOT's preparedness
"It didn't look like any brine had been on the road, that they had even brined the interstate or anything. So, we're going to have a talk with GDOT about that."

"A misunderstanding by the sheriff in that area is that we had not brined. We had brined in that area. But again, brine is a pre-treatment, our first layer of defense but when you reach bridges and overpasses there could still be icy conditions based on the temperature of the air, based on that cold air hitting under the bridge," says Natalie Dale.

Dale is a spokesperson for GDOT based out of Atlanta.
"We had brine applications starting the night before at 8 o'clock in our North Georgia counties," says Dale.

Dale maintains the roads were properly treated and that GDOT brought up extra crews from Atlanta to make sure.
"We expanded that brine production to North Georgia. We've had six extra tankers up there. Also this week we've sent five extra up from the metro area since we haven't been seeing a lot in the metro area," says Dale.

She says GDOT was monitoring the stretch of roadway with crews on the ground and from GDOT headquarters. She says drivers were going to fast for the conditions.
"Just because we're brining and even putting down materials drivers still need to treat these roads as if there's inclement weather and you can't drive as if it's a sunny Saturday," says Dale.

That is one point the sheriff says he can agree on.
"You always see the signs before the bridges and overpasses that bridges and overpasses freeze before the roadway," he says.

We spoke with the sheriff Thursday. He was waiting to hear back from GDOT before commenting.
He says the Area 6 engineer told him Thursday afternoon his crews did treat that section of I-75. Sisk says he has no reason to dispute that but he saw with his own eyes the overpasses were still icy.

Even so, GDOT agreed there could be better communication between local and state agencies.

They discussed the possibility of GDOT  reimbursing county road crews for treating state roads, if it comes to that during the next potential winter storm.

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