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VDOT pre-treats I-95 and other major roads ahead of potential snow storm

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 12:33:42-05

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are pre-treating Interstate 95 and other primary routes in the Fredericksburg, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula areas Thursday and Friday ahead of potential snow and ice this weekend.

Crews hit the highway at 9 a.m. on Thursday near mile marker 150 in Stafford County spraying a salt brine solution, which helps prevent ice from bonding to the pavement.

Next, they traveled down the southbound lanes to mile marker 98 in Caroline County before turning around to treat the northbound lanes.

This is the same stretch of highway where traffic came to a halt for more than 20 hours just 10 days ago.

“It's one thing that we can do ahead of this event," said Kelly Hannon, VDOT Fredericksburg District Communications Manager. "It's going to be absorbed in the pavement.”

Crews didn’t treat the roads in that area before the last winter storm because that event started as rain.

"We can pre-treat roads with the salt brine solution whenever the storm is going to start with frozen precipitation," Hannon explained. "Rain, when it comes down, would just kind of wash the material away.”

Hannon added that the day-long hold up on I-95 is currently under review by VDOT, State Police and the Department of Emergency Management.

"Everything from equipment resources, communication with drivers, many of the concerns that have been raised by those who were stopped in it, you know, will be addressed as part of that review process," said Hannon.

Thursday and Friday, you can expect to see a slow-moving mobile operation along I-95 and other primary roads like Route 1 and Route 360 while they spray that brine solution.

"They do travel a little bit slowly, about 35 miles an hour, so just please stay behind them," Hannon noted. "Give them a little bit of time just to put that material down, and then make the road safer for everyone throughout this weekend event.”

Even with the pre-treatment, VDOT said roads can still be dangerous once the snow or sleet starts to fall, so be sure to check the conditions before you plan any travel.

VDOT already has crews and equipment ready for Sunday’s weather because they plan to put down hard salt and sand once the storm starts. Crews will start plowing once there’s two inches of snow or more.