Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
March 3, 2014
CENTRAL VA. ROADS WILL BE SLICK OVERNIGHT
Plow crews working on secondary roads, VDOT warns of refreeze, black ice
CULPEPER — With Central Virginia’s interstates and major primary highways clear of snow, the Virginia Department of Transportation is shifting snow-removal operations to the region’s lower-volume primary roads and the secondary system.
Those roads will be the priority for crews tonight but much of the packed snow and ice will remain even after they are plowed. With temperatures hovering near zero in many locations salt will not melt the ice so sand will be used to improve traction. During the day on Tuesday, when temperatures rise and the sun provides additional heat, salt will be used to loosen the ice so it can be plowed off the roads.
VDOT warns motorists planning to drive tonight that travel will be hazardous due to black ice, even on roads that were cleared of snow earlier. Temperatures are forecast to remain near freezing during the day and well below freezing at night for the next several days so moisture still on the roads will refreeze into black ice. Many secondary roads will remain slick even after they are plowed and sand and salt is applied.
VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends. In many cases plows will make one pass along secondary roads and continue on to open other roads before returning to plow the full width of the road.
How you can help
• Postpone non-essential travel until roads are in plowed and in good condition.
• If you must travel check weather and road conditions before you leave, including along the route and at your destination. Allow plenty of time for the trip. Drive for conditions: slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
• Clear all your vehicle’s windows and remove snow from the roof and other surfaces. Keep an emergency kit in the car, including a shovel, sand or other abrasive, a blanket and a flashlight. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
• Shovel snow from your driveway to the right as you face the street. This will minimize the snow pushed into the driveway by plows clearing the road. Consider waiting to shovel the last several feet closest to the street until after plows have passed.
This winter storm is affecting most of Virginia. Road conditions in different parts of the state may vary greatly and VDOT recommends that anyone considering travel check the conditions along their route and at their destination and plan their trip accordingly. VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, 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.