Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Dec. 16, 2010
ROAD CONDITIONS IMPROVE BUT CAUTION IS STILL ADVISED
VDOT crews will work overnight to clear highways; expect icing early Friday
CULPEPER — Interstate 64 and I-66 in Central Virginia are mostly clear of snow and the region’s primary highways are reported in moderate condition with some clear pavement but large patches of slush and snow remaining.
Secondary roads across the region are reported in moderate condition with snow and slush covering the pavement. Conditions are expected to continue to improve through the evening but motorists who are traveling overnight will likely encounter icing as the snow and water on the road surfaces refreezes. Drivers should pay particular attention to cooler areas such as bridges, overpasses, ramps, higher elevations and shady spots where ice is most likely to form.
Virginia Department of Transportation crews in the nine counties of VDOT’s Culpeper District are plowing and treating the roads with sand and salt to improve traction and help melt the snow and ice and prevent it from bonding to the road surface. VDOT’s crews will continue working overnight, focusing their snow and ice control efforts first on the interstates and primary highways and shifting to the secondary system as conditions warrant. VDOT’s goal is to make all roads passable within 48 hours after a storm ends.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
• Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
• Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
• Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
• Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
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 Interstate 64, I-66 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. Call 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) to report road hazards or ask transportation-related questions.
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/statewide/2010/virginia_ready_for_severe49569.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.