RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Lou.Hatter@vdot.virginia.gov
cell 540-717-2890
CULP 2010-033

Feb. 7, 2010



DRIVERS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR SLICK CONDITIONS
VDOT crews continue their round-the-clock response to historic winter storm

CULPEPER — Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation worked through to clear interstate and primary highways across the region. At this hour interstate and primary highways in VDOT’s Culpeper District are in minor to moderate condition. Generally roads in the Charlottesville region are clear with patches of packed snow and ice, while roads to the north are still covered with packed snow and ice.

All major highways in Rappahannock and Fauquier counties, including I-66, are reported in moderate condition with significant amounts of snow that still covering the roads. Both counties reported snow accumulations in excess of two feet and as plow crews continue working they are slowed by numerous fallen trees blocking the roads.

VDOT continues to warn against unnecessary travel on Sunday. Extremely cold temperatures overnight have frozen the packed snow and water on the roads and created slick, extremely hazardous driving conditions.

Secondary roads in Albemarle, Fluvanna and Louisa counties are reported in moderate condition, with most of the surface covered with packed snow. In other counties to the north the secondary roads are in severe condition and remain extremely hazardous due to the deep snow. Most of those roads have not been plowed and may be impassable in some spots. Crews continue to clear trees that have fallen from the weight of the deep snow, and are coordinating efforts with utility companies since some of the trees are tangled in power lines.

In the areas of Virginia hardest hit by the storm, generally north of Interstate 64 and west of the Northern Neck, heavy snowfall accumulations will slow typical plow response times, especially for lower traffic secondary roads and subdivision streets. That includes nine counties of Piedmont Virginia from Albemarle north through Fauquier that comprise VDOT’s Culpeper District.

“VDOT’s number one priority is clearing roadways to make them safe,” said Gregory Whirley, acting commissioner. “We start with interstate highways and major primary roads with the goal of making all roads passable 48 hours after the end of a typical snowstorm. In the southern and far eastern portions of the state, we will likely achieve that goal. However, because of the historic amount of snow that has fallen in areas of VDOT’s Staunton, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, and Northern Virginia districts — in some places topping two feet of accumulation — we expect it will take us several additional days to clear secondary roads and subdivision streets. We ask for motorists’ patience while we continue working day and night to plow all state-maintained roadways.”

VDOT continues to be fully mobilized across the region with more than 700 pieces of equipment working to clear roads, including some equipment provided by other VDOT districts that were not as severely affected by the storm. In addition to its snowplows VDOT has also mobilized numerous pieces of heavy equipment, including motor graders and front-end loaders that are able to move heavy snow and packed snow and ice.

Anyone considering travel on Sunday is urged to check VDOT’s travel information Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site has real-time information on road conditions and weather for all major highways in Virginia. VDOT’s statewide network of traffic cameras also provides live feeds of traffic conditions on major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66, Route 29 and Route 250 in Piedmont Virginia.

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