VDOT: Crews pretreat interstates, other major routes ahead of Friday winter storm

'We urge drivers to plan travel around a winter storm, not during the storm,' officials said
Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 27, 2022

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Crews pretreated interstates along with major primary and secondary routes in Central Virginia Thursday ahead of another winter storm, according to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials.

Pretreatment, which is the process of dispensing saltwater brine on roads to reduce the chance of ice bonding with pavement, was finished late Thursday, VDOT officials said.

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Precipitation should start as some rain showers or a mix by mid-afternoon to the northwest, and that will move into the metro towards evening,Meteorologist Tom Patton said.

As colder air moves in, it will be all snow this evening, and it will last through daybreak Saturday.

Winds will increase Saturday morning with some gusts over 30 mph possible in central Virginia, and over 40 mph at the coast. This could result in some power outages.

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VDOT Acting Richmond District Maintenance Engineer Gary Jennings urged drivers to "make preparations now to limit nonessential travel during and after the storm."

"We urge drivers to plan travel around a winter storm, not during the storm," Jennings said.

VDOT's Richmond District has more than 1,400 pieces of equipment, including trucks, plows, tractors and motor graders, "to address road impacts during and after winter weather events," according to Jennings.

VDOT's tips for drivers:

  • Give pretreating crews and snow plows plenty of room (at least 100 feet) and don't pass them. Drivers may encounter slow-moving equipment on the roads during winter weather events.
  • Follow all safety guidance from local officials and resources, and prepare now before precipitation begins over the weekend.
  • Once winter weather arrives, allow more time to reach your destination and leave a five second gap between yourself and other vehicles.
  • 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.
  • Bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways, and if there is snow or ice on roadways, travel is hazardous. Use extreme caution today if you must be on the roadways.
  • Remove all snow from your vehicle, including the roof. Reduce your speed and do not follow other vehicles too closely. Leave yourself plenty of room to stop, and avoid braking suddenly.

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