VDOT gets hi-tech in mission to clear snowy roads

Posted at 2:07 AM, Jan 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-29 02:07:38-05

It’s all hands on deck for this latest winter storm. VDOT crews are working twelve hour shifts and using all of their resources to tackle what Mother Nature is dishing out.

All day crews were out making sure the roads were pre-treated for the snow. The workers spent a good part of the day waiting for the snow to fall.

Spokesperson Lindsay LeGrand says they have to wait until there are at least two inches of snow on the ground before they can start plowing the roads. She tells CBS 6 News the reason for that is, if they plow before the snow can accumulate they run the risk of pushing the ice down into the road, making it more difficult for them.

Drivers like Jennifer Davis tell us they believe VDOT is doing a good job of getting the roads cleared.  Davis says even though it is frustrating that it takes a little longer to get out of her  neighborhood, she still believes the agency is doing a good job.

LeGrand tells us their main focus is to make sure all major roads are passable forty-eight hours after the snow stops. She says once the main thoroughfares are done, they shift their focus on secondary roads.

One important tool that VDOT crews rely on are the pavement sensors that are scattered along interstates across the Commonwealth. The sensors  alert VDOT to any icy trouble spots so crews can zero in on them and make them safer.

The information from the sensors is sent back to the agency’s traffic operations center. From there workers can dispatch crews out in the field to certain areas, especially in known trouble spots like bridges and overpasses.

As VDOT continues to handle this winter storm, officials are advising drivers to stay off of the roads. If you have to travel, they suggest calling 511 to check  road conditions.