Top Five Snow-Removal Questions

1. When will roads be cleared? 

The Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.

Northern Virginia residents can check the plowing status of their neighborhoods at

2. How does VDOT decide which roads to clear first? 

VDOT follows a very specific plan with each winter storm. Its road-clearing priorities are:

  • Interstates and most primary roads 
  • Snow emergency routes and heavily trafficked roads
  • Other secondary roads and residential streets

3. Which roads is VDOT responsible for clearing? 

Except for Arlington and Henrico counties, VDOT is responsible for clearing all state-maintained roads.

4. Who is responsible for clearing my sidewalk? 

Residents must clear their own sidewalks.

5. Why do plows leave snow in my driveway? 

With heavy snow, plowing can cause snow to accumulate in roadside gutters and on road shoulders — sometimes even blocking driveways.

When this occurs, VDOT asks that you shovel snow to the right of your driveway as you face the road. This is to prevent snow from piling up again if your road is re-plowed.

Learn more about snow preparations and removal >

Page last modified: Dec. 17, 2021