Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179
Jan. 25, 2013
VDOT SNOW RESPONSE UNDERWAY IN THE RICHMOND REGION
Drivers advised to use caution overnight and early Saturday
COLONIAL HEIGHTS –As snow falls across the Richmond region, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews and its contractors will be working around the clock to treat and clear state-maintained routes. Snow is expected to continue through tonight. Due to frigid temperatures overnight, any moisture remaining on roadways will likely freeze, especially on untreated roads, bridges and overpasses. Drivers are encouraged to delay or limit travel overnight through early Saturday, if possible.
During a winter storm, VDOT first treats roads with salt to melt snow/ice and sand to provide traction. Crews begin plowing when one to two inches of snow has accumulated on the road. Even when roads have been treated, drivers must reduce their speed.
VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a storm. Crews first clear interstates, primary roads (routes numbered 1-599) and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities. They will then shift resources to secondary routes as conditions allow.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
- Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
- Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and power lines.
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
- Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
- If you begin to skid, do not brake. Take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
Drivers are encouraged to check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before traveling. 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.
VDOT’s Richmond District oversees maintenance (including snow removal) and construction activities along interstates, primary and secondary routes in 14 counties in central Virginia: Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico (primary routes only), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince George counties.
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.