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VDOT warns to say off the roads on Sunday

VDOT prepares to keep roads clear of snow and ice this winter season
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-15 19:20:57-05

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Central Virginia will not see snow until the end of the weekend but VDOT’s crews were already pretreating major roads and highways days in advance.

VDOT spokesperson Sara Owens said crews started spreading a salt-water brine solution on Thursday.

“We are able to pretreat for this snow because it’s supposed to start as snow which is good. The pretreatment will go out on the roads, and it will dry and stay there until it’s activated again by moisture,” Owens said.

VDOT will enter 24-hour operations on Sunday. Crews will work 12-hour shifts for 24 hours until the roads are passable.

CBS 6 caught up with road crews on Friday who were pretreating surfaces from parkways to parking lots.

Nick Lopez sat behind the wheel of his new Mac truck readying the Amazon Fulfillment Center’s lot in Prince George.

“We are still dealing with COVID running throughout crews. We have a lot of people out, in and out, constantly,” Lopez said.

While the coronavirus limits manpower at Lopez’s company, Virginia Snow and Ice Management, technology helps him make up the difference.

He’s able to pair his cell phone with the brine sprayer hooked up to the back of his truck. With the push of a button, Lopez can control where and how much brine to spread on the pavement.

“We can also control our valves that we spray,” he explained.

This technology also helps him accomplish his goal to stay green.

“Salt brine is better for the environment than road salt,” Lopez stated. “Salt, as it washes away, is getting down into our drinking water, our rivers and creeks. Definitely if you’re looking for contractors definitely ask them about brine and how they help the environment and go a little greener.”

After the I-95 nightmare gridlock last week, VDOT shared this advice.

“For Sunday we are really advising folks who don’t need to be on the road to stay home. Delay essential travel and let crews get out there to work and do what they need to do to,” Owens warned.

She also urged college students who are returning to school this weekend to leave before the winter weather falls.