Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 30, 2010
VDOT CAUTIONS AGAINST NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Major highways in Piedmont Va. are snow-covered, secondary roads also hazardous
CULPEPER — Roads across Piedmont Virginia are snow-covered and hazardous as snow continues to fall through the region. Interstate 66 and I-64 are reported in moderate condition, snow-covered but passable with caution, as are the major primary highways throughout the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District. Most secondary roads are also reported in moderate condition, although secondary routes in Culpeper, Fluvanna and Louisa counties are in severe condition, with deep snow covering the roads.
Road conditions continue to be hazardous during the storm and VDOT is urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel. Although the snow is forecast to end within the next several hours some blowing and drifting is expected through the evening hours and roads will remain slick overnight.
If travel is essential drivers should check road conditions and weather forecasts 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 and contract personnel are working across the region to clear the roads, focusing first on interstates, primary highways and some high-volume secondary roads that carry the largest volumes of traffic. Crews will continue plowing and applying sand and salt on those roadways into the evening. As the conditions on those roads improve VDOT will shift its equipment onto the secondary system and begin plowing those roads. VDOT crews will continue working around the clock until all roads are passable.
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.
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.