Jenny O'Quinn 804-225-4984

Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715


Nov. 12, 2015

An estimated $202.4 million budgeted for snow removal in Virginia

RICHMOND –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is geared up for snowy weather with staffing, equipment and materials ready to go for the 2015-2016 winter season.

“VDOT prepares year-round for snow so that we can keep Virginia’s complex network for roads and bridges clear for travel when bad weather strikes,” said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick.  “Our crews are trained and experienced to handle the worst of storms and we have the resources and technology to get the job done safely.”

Snow removal resources:

  • $202.4 million budget for winter weather 
  • 2,500 VDOT crewmembers in addition to contractors available for snow removal statewide
  • 13,173 pieces of snow-removal equipment, including trucks, loaders and motor graders
  • 657,162 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and 1.7 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine


What’s new and other innovations: 

Wing plows - Four trucks in the Staunton District will test a wing plow for snow removal.  Each truck will be fitted with a front and side blade.  Together the plows will cut a 21-foot path of snow with each pass, essentially doing the job of two traditional plows.

Online snowplow tracker in Northern Virginia- If snow reaches two inches or more, VDOT activates an online neighborhood tracking map that monitors the status of plowing in the Northern Virginia district.

Recycling runoff into brine -When VDOT loads salt onto snow-removal trucks on a paved area – called a “mixing pad” – at its salt-storage facilities, the runoff is directed either to impermeable ponds or underground tanks, since the mixing pad is normally wet during the loading process due to water or snow.

To manage this runoff, VDOT is reusing some of this water from the ponds or tanks to produce brine, a solution of salt and water, to turn an environmental challenge – disposing of that runoff – into a supply opportunity.

VDOT has begun to rely more on applying brine to roads in areas where feasible before winter storms. Brine can prevent frozen precipitation from bonding to the pavement, and it reduces the overall amount of salt used. Brine is also more environmentally friendly than salt.

Most salt facilities in VDOT’s Richmond District now recycle this runoff into brine.  The district used more than 193,000 gallons of brine last winter, most of which came from runoff processed from its holding ponds.


Go to VDOT winter weather for more information.  Watch VDOT prepares for snow. Call 511 or go to for the latest road conditions and traffic information.


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.

Page last modified: Nov. 12, 2015