Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Jan. 20, 2014
VDOT READY FOR WINTER WEATHER ON TUESDAY
Motorists urged to postpone unnecessary travel, monitor road conditions
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation has completed preparations for the season’s first significant winter storm.
Snow is forecast to begin falling early Tuesday morning and continue through the day with up to seven inches expected in the western parts of VDOT’s Culpeper District. The dry snow combined with forecast windy conditions may make blowing and drifting snow a problem even after roads are plowed.
VDOT and contractor crews pre-treated Interstate 64, I-66 and high-volume primary roads with brine on Monday and prepared snow-removal equipment for the storm. Crews will report for duty at midnight and continue emergency operations through the storm.
When snowfall begins, VDOT crews will treat roads with sand to improve traction and salt to help melt the 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. VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.
The forecast is subject to change and residents are urged to check current weather and roadway conditions before they travel. Any unnecessary travel should be avoided or delayed until after the storm passes. Bitter cold, sub-freezing temperatures are forecast to continue for several days after the storm so motorists should be aware that icy conditions are possible even after roads are plowed.
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.