Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Feb. 6, 2010
TRAVEL WILL REMAIN HAZARDOUS OVERNIGHT
VDOT crews continue their round-the-clock response to historic winter storm
CULPEPER — Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation will continue working through the night to clear interstate and primary highways. With the exception of Interstate 64 east of Charlottesville all primary highways in Central Virginia are in moderate condition, covered with packed snow but passable with caution. I-64 east toward Richmond is mostly clear with patches of snow and ice on the pavement.
All roads in Rappahannock and Fauquier counties, including I-66, are reported in severe condition with significant amounts of snow that may block portions of the road. Both counties reported snow accumulations in excess of two feet.
VDOT continues to warn against travel overnight Saturday and on Sunday morning. Temperatures are forecast to drop near zero and moisture on roads, including the packed snow, will freeze, creating extremely hazardous driving conditions.
Secondary roads in the region are also in severe condition and remain extremely hazardous due to the deep snow. Most of those roads have not been plowed and may be impassable in some spots. Numerous trees have been brought down by the weight of the snow and VDOT is responding to clear roadways blocked by fallen trees.
In the areas of Virginia hardest hit by the storm, generally north of Interstate 64 and west of the Northern Neck, heavy snowfall accumulations will slow typical plow response times, especially for lower traffic secondary roads and subdivision streets. That includes nine counties of Piedmont Virginia from Albemarle north through Fauquier that comprise VDOT’s Culpeper District.
“VDOT’s number one priority is clearing roadways to make them safe,” said Gregory Whirley, acting commissioner. “We start with interstate highways and major primary roads with the goal of making all roads passable 48 hours after the end of a typical snowstorm. In the southern and far eastern portions of the state, we will likely achieve that goal. However, because of the historic amount of snow that has fallen in areas of VDOT’s Staunton, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, and Northern Virginia districts — in some places topping two feet of accumulation — we expect it will take us several additional days to clear secondary roads and subdivision streets. We ask for motorists’ patience while we continue working day and night to plow all state-maintained roadways.”
VDOT is fully mobilized across the Culpeper District with more than 700 pieces of equipment deployed across the district’s nine counties. Several other VDOT districts less affected by the storm have provided snowplows to the Culpeper District. In addition to its snowplows VDOT has also mobilized heavy equipment, including motor graders and front-end loaders that are able to move heavy snow.
Anyone considering travel Saturday night and Sunday morning is urged to check VDOT’s travel information Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site has real-time information on road conditions and weather for all major highways in Virginia. VDOT’s statewide network of traffic cameras also provides live feeds of traffic conditions on major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66, Route 29 and Route 250 in Piedmont Virginia.
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/snowseason.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.