RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Lou.Hatter@vdot.virginia.gov
cell 540-717-2890
CULP 2010-017

Jan. 31, 2010



ROAD CONDITIONS IMPROVING IN PIEDMONT VA.
VDOT crews begin plowing secondaries; motorists should continue to drive with caution


CULPEPER — Road conditions are improving across the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District, with Interstate 66 and some primary highways in Fauquier and Culpeper counties mostly clear of snow. In other counties from Rappahannock south through Albemarle, however, most roads have been plowed but are still snow-covered and drivers should expect icy conditions, especially early Sunday morning.

VDOT crews are shifting their attention to secondary roads in most localities and will continue those efforts until all roads are passable. Some plows are still working on the interstates and primary highways to open crossovers, turn lanes and shoulders and spread abrasives and salt to improve traction and help melt the packed snow.

Drivers who must travel Sunday morning may encounter black ice as well as the snow-covered roads since the extremely cold temperatures overnight froze any moisture on the roadways. Motorists should check road conditions before they leave; www.511Virginia.org has up-to-date conditions, weather and other information for travelers. Drivers should also allow extra time for their trip, reduce their speed and increase following distance from other vehicles.

VDOT crews will continue working around the clock until all roads are passable. Crews focus their snow-removal efforts first on the interstate and primary highways that carry the most traffic, and then shift to the secondary system and neighborhood streets as conditions permit. The agency’s goal is to have all roads passable within 48 hours after a storm ends.

VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• 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.


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