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VDOT crews working to pretreat roads before snow

VDOT prepares to keep roads clear of snow and ice this winter season
Posted at 2:59 PM, Jan 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-30 18:45:14-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have been busy prepping for a winter storm Sunday that will bring snow and a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain before transitioning to plain rain.

Officials said crews are pretreating interstate, primary and high volume secondary routes with a saltwater brine to prevent ice from bonding with the pavement.

"Pretreating will be complete throughout the 14-county Richmond District by sunset Saturday," VDOT officials said. "Once precipitation begins, crews will work in 24-hour operations until all roads are safe and passable."

Officials said crews started pretreating roads Friday.

Additionally, extra Safety Service Patrol vehicles will be on interstates starting at midnight Sunday to assist with crashes or other incidents, along with emergency stand-by towing in the northwestern portion of the District, officials said.

And because of the threat for ice, officials said contractors are on call to deal with any trees that could be downed in the storm.

VDOT offered these tips for driving in snowy and icy conditions:

  • The safest place during a winter storm is indoors.
  • Driving is most dangerous when the temperature is at or under 32 degrees (freezing). A good rule to follow is if the temperature outside is at or below freezing and the road is wet, there will likely be ice, particularly on the shaded areas, bridges, ramps and overpasses, since they tend to freeze first.
  • Even when roads have been treated, drivers should reduce their speed and leave a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
  • If you begin to skid, do not brake. Take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
  • Give snowplows plenty of room (at least 100 feet) and don't pass them. Also, please make sure to give VDOT
  • If drivers stay off the roads during a storm, transportation workers and public safety officials are better able to plow roadways and respond to emergency needs quicker.
  • If you must drive, give snow plows plenty of room (at least 100 feet) and don't pass them.
  • Avoid parking along the street in your neighborhood. Snow plows are wide, and plow drivers may not be able to access and plow the road if parked cars are blocking the path.