Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Dec. 21, 2009
CAUTION STILL ADVISED FOR CENTRAL VA. DRIVERS
Conditions improve but many roads still covered with packed snow
CULPEPER — The condition of most major roads across Central Virginia is improving but there are still a few sections of major primary highways that are covered with hard-packed snow and are extremely hazardous. Those sections include Route 29 both north and south of Charlottesville, Route 20 and Route 250 in Albemarle and Route 33 in Louisa.
Route 53 south of Charlottesville remains closed because icing conditions made the road too dangerous for travel on Sunday evening. The road is closed from Route 20 to the Fluvanna County line. VDOT crews are working to clear the road and the Albemarle County Police Department is towing approximately 40-50 vehicles that were abandoned along the road during the storm. Route 53 will likely be closed until Monday evening.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising residents to stay off the roads unless their travel is essential. Those who must drive should continue to use extreme caution when traveling this afternoon.
In Albemarle County, VDOT is deploying additional resources from other areas of Culpeper District as well as other VDOT districts to assist in plowing the secondary roads. It is expected that plowing the secondary system will take at least another day due to the heavy snowfall. In many locations motor graders and front end loaders are being used to clear the roads because the snow is too heavy for plows to move.
Even after being plowed most secondary roads are still covered with packed snow, however, and motorists should be aware that slick conditions are likely and drive accordingly. Crews will continue working on the secondary system around the clock until all roads are passable.
Route 29 south of Charlottesville was reopened to traffic Sunday afternoon but is still snow-covered and icy in some locations. Drivers are strongly advised against traveling on Route 29 between Interstate 64 and Nelson County.
Motorists will need to exercise extreme caution over the next several days because accumulations of snow and slush are likely to remain on the roads due to near-freezing temperatures even during the day. At night temperatures are forecast to drop well below freezing and icy conditions will be widespread during the morning hours. VDOT crews will continue treating highways with salt and sand to combat overnight refreezing as needed.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including I-64 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available on the Web, www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/snowseason.asp
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.