Jan. 26, 2011
ICING REPORTED ON LOCAL ROADS IN FAUQUIER COUNTY
Motorists urged to check conditions before driving today as winter weather continues
CULPEPER — Many secondary roads in Fauquier County are reported to be icy at this hour. Other counties in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District, from Rappahannock County south through Albemarle County, are reported wet with rain continuing to fall. Primary highways and Interstate 66 in Fauquier County and I-64 in Albemarle and Louisa counties are reported wet but clear of ice and snow.
Travelers should keep a close eye on road conditions through the day on Wednesday. Temperatures are forecast to fall and the rain that is now falling across the region will likely change to snow later in the day. The changeover could bring accumulating snow to many roads before the evening commute and overnight Thursday, so motorists should allow plenty of time for travel and expect to encounter winter conditions.
VDOT crews have been on duty since midnight to respond to any icing or winter weather. Although most roads are reported clear at this time motorists should be aware that there may be isolated icing in some areas, especially on roads at high elevations and near the mountains in the western parts of Piedmont Virginia. Bridge decks will also freeze before other road surfaces.
During this winter storm VDOT crews will focus their snow-removal efforts first on the interstate and primary highways, then shift to the secondary road system (roads numbered 600 and above). VDOT’s goal is to make all roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends.
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, 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.
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.
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.