|IMMEDIATE - 4 p.m.
Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
Sept. 13, 2018
VDOT CREWS TO MOBILIZE TONIGHT IN FREDERICKSBURG DISTRICT
Residents should closely monitor weather conditions and plan to limit or avoid travel once heavy rainfall, flooding and high winds arrive
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. ⸺ Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews will start to mobilize at 8 p.m. this evening in the Fredericksburg District to respond to any unsafe road conditions that develop from Hurricane Florence.
VDOT crews will remain at work 24 hours a day, rotating in 12-hour shifts, until all state-maintained roads are safe for travel.
This afternoon, VDOT crews in the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula are finishing final preparations ahead of the storm:
- Chainsaws, sandbags, generators, road signs and barricades are positioned for quick deployment at VDOT Area Headquarters locations
- Tree removal contractors are ready to assist VDOT with debris removal
- Final checks are being performed to ensure pipes and ditches are clear from debris and obstructions to keep water free-flowing once heavy rain arrives, especially in coastal zones and areas most prone to flooding
- Construction projects have been inspected to secure barrels, equipment and materials
Lane closures remain lifted districtwide to assist with evacuation efforts and storm preparation. Tolls remain lifted until further notice at the George P. Coleman Bridge on Route 17 between Gloucester and York counties.
What Motorists Should Know
Travel may quickly become hazardous and difficult as the Fredericksburg District is affected by Hurricane Florence. The region may experience prolonged heavy rainfall, storm surge flooding and freshwater flooding, road damage, high winds, downed trees and utility lines, and other debris and safety hazards in the roadway.
In addition to avoiding or limiting travel during severe weather, motorists are encouraged to:
- Report downed trees, tree debris, or other roadway hazards to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov. The Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Check 511Virginia for real-time road conditions, including a list of roads partially or completely blocked due to flooding, debris, downed utility lines or other safety hazards.
- Never drive across a flooded roadway. The underlying road or bridge may be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Follow proper procedure when a traffic signal is completely dark, or flashing
High Winds Protocol for Robert O. Norris Bridge, Downing Bridge
VDOT will monitor sustained winds on the Robert O. Norris Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties, and on the Downing Bridge, which carries Route 360 traffic over the Rappahannock River between Richmond County and the Town of Tappahannock in Essex County.
When sustained winds reach 30 mph over a period of 15 minutes at the Norris Bridge or Downing Bridge, VDOT will post a high wind advisory notice. High-profile vehicles such as tractor-trailers, box trucks, and large vans and SUVs are advised to not cross these bridges when a high wind advisory is posted.
When sustained winds reach 40 mph on the Norris Bridge or the Downing Bridge, or there are frequent wind gusts of 45 mph or greater, VDOT crews will post a bridge closure notice. Notices will be communicated through VDOT news releases, VDOT social media platforms, posted on message boards staged at the bridges, and on 511Virginia. However, bridges will not be physically barricaded. VDOT personnel will seek shelter once sustained winds reach 40 mph.
Ferry service on the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County remains suspended until further notice.
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.