Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Dec. 17, 2010
ROAD CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IN CENTRAL VA.
Snow-removal efforts focused on secondary system; motorists should drive with caution
CULPEPER — Interstate and primary highways in Central Virginia are mostly clear of snow but motorists are urged to drive with caution this morning since many roads still have patches of hard-packed snow and ice.
Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation have focused their efforts overnight to plow the secondary roads. At this hour most secondary roads are in moderate condition. Some are covered with hard-packed snow while others have significant amounts of snow and icy patches on the pavement. Crews will continue working on the secondary roads today while also monitoring the condition of the major highways.
Road conditions are expected to improve today as temperatures rise above freezing. Motorists should continue to drive with care and pay particular attention to cooler areas such as bridges, overpasses, ramps, higher elevations and shady spots where ice is most likely to remain even after temperatures rise.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
• Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
• Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
• Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
• Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state. Call 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) to report road hazards or ask transportation-related questions.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available on the Web, www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2010/virginia_ready_for_severe49569.asp
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.