Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 12, 2011
ICING LIKELY THIS MORNING ON SOME CENTRAL VA. ROADS
Motorists urged to check highway conditions, drive cautiously
CULPEPER — Motorists who must travel early this morning should check conditions before leaving and expect to encounter icy conditions on some Central Virginia roads. Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have been working all night spreading sand and salt on the roads to improve traction and help melt the ice but many roads will have icy spots, particularly secondary roads and neighborhood streets.
Interstate 64 and I-66 are reported to be clear this morning. Major highways across Central Virginia are reported in minor condition, meaning that most of the pavement is clear but patches of snow and ice remain. Secondary roads are in moderate condition, with large areas of the pavement still covered with snow or ice.
VDOT crews have focused their efforts overnight on the secondary road system and will continue that work Wednesday morning. Road conditions are expected to improve rapidly after dawn as temperatures rise above freezing and the sun helps to melt any remaining snow and ice.
Motorists should also be alert for debris on the roads today. High winds are forecast across Central Virginia in the wake of the winter storm and those winds may bring down trees, limbs and other debris onto the roadways.
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 I-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.
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.
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.