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Which roads VDOT crews will clear first during winter storm

Posted at 12:13 AM, Dec 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-09 03:45:19-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said Saturday that crews have already pretreated roadways ahead of the winter storm forecast to bring snow and freezing rain to much of the state.

"Southside Virginia and the southwest region are expected to be hardest hit, with precipitation starting early Sunday and lasting overnight into Monday morning," officials warned.

VDOT urges drivers to stay off roads once storm begins

"While VDOT crews have pretreated roads, once snow falls, roads will be slick and driving conditions will be hazardous.

Motorists are urged to stay off roads during the storm. About 70-percent of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles. By staying off roads during a winter storm, transportation workers and public-safety officials can clear roads and respond more quickly to emergency needs.

VDOT and contract crews will be out in force around the clock to clear roads.

When the storm hits, crews work to clear interstates and primary roads first, then major secondary roads with vital emergency and public facilities, and then other secondary roads and subdivision streets. Crews focus their efforts on those roads that carry the most traffic.

Even after the storm has passed, avoid or limit travel until roads are in better condition. When traveling on snowy roads, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you, brake very lightly to avoid your tires from slipping on pavement and do not pass snowplows."

Click here to report a weather-related road issue to VDOT or call 1-800-FOR-ROADS.

Fun Facts from VDOT 

"VDOT has approximately 2,500 crewmembers for snow-removal operations statewide. In addition, VDOT uses contractors to maintain the interstates throughout the Commonwealth. Snow removal is one of the main functions of these contractors.

VDOT has nearly 11,700 pieces of equipment and more than 700,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and 2.1 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine ready at full capacity. Materials are continually replenished once used throughout snow season.

A statewide network of 77 weather sensors in roadways and bridges allows VDOT maintenance crews to quickly identify when and where road surfaces might be freezing."