Brenda Waters (276) 669-9999
Michelle Earl 276-669-9901

Dec. 4, 2007

VDOT is ready for winter weather; over $11 million snow removal budget for the 12-county Bristol District

BRISTOL – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared for when the snowflakes start to fall this winter. Snow fighting chemicals are stored, the snowplows are ready and crews are well rehearsed on snow-removal routes.

Statewide nearly 3,200 VDOT crew members and more than 3,680 pieces of snow removal equipment are ready. This winter, VDOT has budgeted over $80 million for snow removal operations.

In southwestern Virginia’s Bristol transportation district, which serves the 12 most western counties of the state, approximately 450 VDOT employees and 100 contractors’ employees are ready for mobilization. Region wide, VDOT has a fleet of about 230 state-owned snowplows and approximately 90 snowplows are available from contractors. The district budget for snow removal is approximately $11 million.

“VDOT and our contractors have a detailed snow removal plan for the district’s 7,400 miles of roads, and each driver has a specific route. During severe storms, our top priorities are the most heavily traveled routes, typically the interstates, major primary highways, and routes to emergency and medical facilities. Once the snow stops and these roads are passable, crews begin working on the roads with lower traffic volumes, such as secondary roads and subdivision streets,” said Mike Branham, Bristol district maintenance engineer.

“Within 48 hours after a storm ends, VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable. Snow removal crews work around the clock in 12-hour shifts until conditions are safe for traveling,” said Branham.

The following lists VDOT's first priority routes in the Bristol district:
- Bland County: Interstate 77, Routes 42, 52, 61 and 598
- Buchanan County: Routes 80, 83 and 460
- Dickenson County: Routes 72 and 83
- Grayson County: Routes 16, 21, 58, 89, 94 and 274
- Lee County: Routes 23, 58, 58-A, 70, 352 and 421
- Russell County: Routes 19, 58-A, 71, 80 and 82
- Scott County: Routes 23, 58, 65, 71, 72 and 224
- Smyth County: Interstate 81, Routes 11, 16, 42, 91 and 107
- Tazewell County: Routes 16, 19, 102, 460 and 369
- Washington County and Bristol area: Interstates 81 and 381, Routes 11, 19, 58, 58-A, 75, 91, 140,
80 and 421.
- Wise County: Routes 23, 58-A, 72 and 83
- Wythe County: Interstates 77 and 81, Routes 11, 21, 52 and 94.

Before getting into a vehicle, drivers can get current road condition reports from VDOT via computer or telephone. During a storm, color-coded maps are updated online at every 15 minutes showing which roads are snow-covered, icy or wet. Citizens can also get the same information by calling 511 or VDOT’s toll-free Highway Helpline at 1-800-367-ROAD (7623), which is available nationwide within the continental United States. (END)

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012