MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Transportation is making winter weather preparations across the Lowcountry as state and local officials gear up for the potential for freezing rain and icy roads Friday into early Saturday morning.

SCDOT has spent most of the Thursday working to pre-treat roads with salt across Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties to get a head start. Officials say trucks have been spreading salt and will continue working through Thursday night leading up to the event. SCDOT is focusing on interstates, bridges and primary roads.

SCDOT crews will work 12 hour shifts starting Thursday night getting ready for freezing rain and ice. Pete Poore, Director of Communications with SCDOT says because of the forecasted rain crews will stick to using salt rather than liquid brine.

“Well, this time we’re using pure salt,” says Poore. “Salt brine will, we’re going to have so much rain prior too it will wash it away.”

Road crews are watching the potential for bridges and overpasses to freeze. SCDOT says the state has stocked all counties with needed supplies including salt and more. Poore says crews will also utilize sand on roadways and bridges.

Poore: but we do use sand on the bridges and we just keep treating them with salt and let mother nature make salt work for us.

Roughly 2,500 SCDOT workers are working around the clock to keep roads open. Poore says the best thing to do is stay home and off the roads until the SCDOT trucks have had a chance to dump salt and clear them.

“We would prefer that you would not drive out in even rain, heavy rain that could freeze,” says Poore. “So, that’s the big problem, that’s the big concern.”

The agency will focus on interstates, primary roads and then areas around hospitals. Poore says if you do hit the roads and see SCDOT trucks working to spread salt to leave some space.

SCDOT crews will remain out pre-treating roadways across the Tri-County area as well as to the north in areas like Georgetown and Williamsburg counties. Officials ask drivers to remain off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary.