Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Dec. 7, 2013
VDOT READY FOR FORECAST WINTER WEATHER
Crews will report at midnight; motorists should avoid non-essential travel during storm
CULPEPER — Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation have completed preparations for the winter storm that is forecast to affect Central Virginia beginning early Sunday morning.
VDOT staff and contractors have finished pre-treating Interstate 64 and I-66 as well as Routes 29 and 250 and select other primary highways in the Culpeper District. The pre-treating process, also called brining, involves applying anti-icing chemicals to the road before a storm to prevent snow and ice from sticking to the pavement.
Crews will report to work at midnight Saturday and will treat the roads with salt and sand as precipitation begins. The sand increases traction and the salt helps melt snow and ice and prevent it from bonding to the road surface. Operators begin plowing once the snow accumulates and the salt takes effect. Crews will focus their snow and ice control efforts first on the interstates and primary highways, then will shift resources to the secondary road system as conditions allow.
Motorists are encouraged to stay home during the height of the storm. Freezing rain will create extremely hazardous driving conditions, even with four-wheel drive vehicles. If travel is essential motorists should observe the following precautions:
• Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination.
• Drive for conditions, regardless of the speed limit.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges.
• Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
• Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary.
Motorists should check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before leaving on a trip. The website is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.
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 online at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.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.