For Immediate Release: March 3, 2014
Contacts: Shannon N. Marshall - 804-371-6844 (office), 804-517-2686 (cell)

VDOT Working Round the Clock to Clear Roads

 

Overnight refreeze will cause hazardous travel; check conditions at 511Virginia

 

RICHMOND – As snow and temperatures both continue to fall statewide this afternoon and evening, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are working 12-hour shifts to plow and treat major roads and highways. 

VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a major storm ends. The priorities are to clear interstates and primary roads first, followed by secondary roads and finally neighborhood streets. 

Temperatures are predicted to drop to the single digits overnight into Tuesday morning, which likely will cause moisture on plowed and other cleared surfaces to refreeze, leading to dangerous icy conditions for vehicles. Between 2 inches and 6 inches of snow still are predicted to fall through tonight in various parts of the state. Some areas also could experience freezing drizzle. 

“If you can avoid unnecessary trips for the duration of this storm, you will make it safer for both yourself and our many VDOT operators clearing the roads so you can resume your travel once they are passable,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “If you must travel and see a slow-moving plow or other equipment ahead, please slow down and pass it carefully where possible, because we want you and our employees to get home safely.” 

Kilpatrick added, “It’s very easy to see how this storm has created hazardous road conditions throughout Virginia by checking VDOT’s many traffic cameras on the 511 Virginia travel information website.” 

Visit www.511Virginia.org, download the 511 mobile app or call 511 for the latest road conditions throughout the commonwealth. 

VDOT is working in concert with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, other safety agencies and the Governor’s Office to monitor weather conditions during this declared state of emergency to get resources where they need to be as quickly as possible. 

Other information and resources

To report hazardous road conditions, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-367-7623 (800-FOR-ROAD). 

Follow these District Twitter feeds for local updates:

  • Northern Virginia – @VaDOTNOVA
  • Fredericksburg – @VaDOTFRED
  • Hampton Roads – @VaDOTHR
  • Richmond – @VaDOTRVA
  • Staunton – @VaDOTStaunton
  • Culpeper – @VaDOTCULP
  • Statewide – @VaDOT 

Follow these 511 Twitter feeds for round-the-clock updates in your area:

  • Northern Virginia – @511northernva
  • Central Virginia – @511centralva
  • Hampton Roads – @511hamptonroads
  • Northwest Virginia –  @511northwestva
  • Southwest Virginia –  @511southwestva
  • Statewide – @511statewideva

Road condition definitions:

  • Severe – Drifting snow or partially blocked road. Snow tires or chains are necessary.
  • Moderate – Snow or ice on major portions of the road. Snow tires or chains advised.
  • Minor – Bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush. Driving with caution is recommended. 

Winter weather travel tips:

  • Know the conditions before you go. Check www.511virginia.org, call 511 and/or check local media.
  • Make sure your vehicle is winter ready – be sure to completely clear all windows, lights, and side mirrors before driving.
  • Keep an emergency driving kit in your car.
  • Wear your seatbelt and don’t drive distracted.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles.
  • Allow extra time for travel.
  • When driving on ice, don’t slam on your brakes. Travel gently. Turn slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin out of control. 

For more winter driving information, please visithttp://www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp

Driveway clearing tips

  • To make as many roads passable as quickly as possible, VDOT plow operators will push snow off the road in smooth, continuous passes. It ends up along road shoulders, sometimes blocking driveways. 
  • To avoid doing double work, wait until a plow has cleared your street before shoveling snow from the end of a driveway. 
  • For motorists who must shovel the end of their driveway before a plow arrives, shovel it to the right of your driveway as you face the road. 

 

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