Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Dec. 19, 2009
TRAVEL IS NOT ADVISED TONIGHT IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY
STAUNTON – Most roads in the Shenandoah Valley including Interstate 81 remain in severe condition on Saturday night following heavy snow in excess of two feet in some areas. Motorists should not attempt any travel in the region unless it is absolutely necessary.
Wreckers and other response crews have begun to make some progress in removing vehicles that have blocked the roadway in several areas during the day.
In Rockbridge County in the Lexington area, both southbound I-81 lanes at mile marker 188 are still closed from an earlier disabled tractor trailer. All vehicles stopped in this area are not occupied at this time and are abandoned. Wreckers are in the process of clearing out these vehicles. Travel lanes will reopen as soon as the abandoned vehicles have been removed from this area. There are no stranded motorists on the interstate in this area this evening.
This is in the area of exit 188 at Route 60. Traffic is being detoured at exit 191 at the I-64 interchange to Route 11 southbound and rejoining I-81 at exit 168.
In southern Augusta County on I-81 southbound from mile marker 221 to 213 all lanes are open but traffic is moving slowly. There are a number of abandoned vehicles in this area. Crews are in the process of removing the vehicles from this area but it will take some time to complete that work. There is no estimated time of completion for this work.
There are two new closures to report on I-81. In Shenandoah County the right southbound lane at mile marker 268 is closed due to a tractor trailer accident. This is between exit 269 at Route 730 in the Shenandoah Caverns area and exit 264 at Route 211 in the New Market area. Motorists should expect delays in this area.
In Rockbridge County northbound on I-81 at mile marker 178 both northbound lanes are closed due to a disabled vehicle. This is between exit 175 and 180 at Route 11 in the Natural Bridge area.
Motorists are reminded that ice and freezing rain conditions can still produce hazardous driving conditions, even when roads are treated. People should not drive unless absolutely necessary. People who are driving in winter road conditions should use extra caution particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-866-MY511VA (866-695-1182). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at 511Virginia.org.
For a chart of winter weather road conditions go the www.511Virginia.org site, look to the left side of the page and click on the “Road Conditions” bar. A map will appear with color coded roads. Right above the map is a link reading: “Click here for a list of road conditions, including secondary roads”. Click on this link, then in the drop-down box click on the desired county or Virginia statewide. A text box of road conditions will appear.
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.
Closed – Roadway is closed; impassable
Severe – Significant accumulations of snow or ice blocking the roadway; conditions are hazardous
Moderate – Snow or ice covering a major portion of the roadway; passable with caution
Minor – Advisory, potential for icy patches or snow on roadway; passable with caution
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.