Lou Hatter 434-529-6314
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK ICE, SNOW MAKE FOR SLICK TRAVEL IN CENTRAL VA.
Motorists urged to avoid travel if possible, use 511 to check road conditions
CULPEPER — Commuters in Central Virginia will encounter slick conditions this morning, with many roads still snow-covered. Others that may look clear and wet are covered with black ice, thanks to very low temperatures overnight.
Interstate 64 and I-66 in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District are reported in clear to minor condition, with occasional patches of snow and ice. Primary roads across the district’s nine counties are in minor to moderate condition, with many still snow-covered. Secondary roads are also reported to be snow- and ice-covered at this time.
Motorists should use the 511 system to obtain information about specific routes before they travel. View the entire list of roads affected by the storm, sortable by county, at http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions.
VDOT crews and contractors remain on duty to clear the roads, plowing and using sand and salt to improve traction. Crews first focus on interstates and primary highways, then turn their attention to secondary roads, which are numbered 600 and above. VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.
Sub-freezing temperatures are forecast to continue for the next several days so motorists should be aware that icy conditions are likely even after roads are plowed. VDOT crews will continue to address icing as long as it is necessary. Any unnecessary travel should be avoided.
VDOT offers the following safety tips to the traveling public:
- Be prepared. Have emergency supplies in your car. Be sure your car is tuned up and ready for winter (check tires, antifreeze, windshield wipers, lights, heater, oil, etc).
- Be patient. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader. Drive gently — don’t slam on your brakes or jerk the wheel — to avoid your car spinning out of control.
- Be vigilant. Reduce speed. Pay close attention, especially when visibility is low. Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Never attempt to drive across or step over fallen utility lines. Always wear your seat belt.
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.