Lou Hatter 434-529-6314
cell 540-717-2890
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
cell 540-718-7698
CULP 2014-052

March 4, 2014

Plow crews working on secondary roads, VDOT warns of refreeze, black ice

CULPEPER (5 a.m.) — While Central Virginia’s interstates and major highways are clear of snow, slick spots persist due to black ice and slush that has refrozen on the road surface.

Since last night the Virginia Department of Transportation has been focusing its efforts on plowing Culpeper District’s secondary highways. The majority of these roads have been plowed but packed snow and ice remain due to the frigid temperatures, leaving these roads in moderate condition. With temperatures hovering near zero salt will not melt the ice so sand has been used to improve traction. As temperatures rise today and the sun provides additional heat, salt will be used to loosen the ice so it can be plowed off the roads.

VDOT warns motorists that travel will be hazardous due to black ice, even on roads that were cleared of snow earlier. Allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination, reduce speed and increase following distance.

VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends. In many cases plows will make one pass along secondary roads and continue on to open other roads before returning to plow the full width of the road.

How you can help

  • Postpone non-essential travel until roads are in plowed and in good condition.
  • If you must travel check weather and road conditions before you leave, including along the route and at your destination. Allow plenty of time for the trip. Drive for conditions: slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
  • Clear all your vehicle’s windows and remove snow from the roof and other surfaces. Keep an emergency kit in the car, including a shovel, sand or other abrasive, a blanket and a flashlight. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Shovel snow from your driveway to the right as you face the street. This will minimize the snow pushed into the driveway by plows clearing the road. Consider waiting to shovel the last several feet closest to the street until after plows have passed.

This winter storm is affecting most of Virginia. Road conditions in different parts of the state may vary greatly and VDOT recommends that anyone considering travel check the conditions along their route and at their destination and plan their trip accordingly. VDOT’s 511 travel website,, is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.


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 online at

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.

Page last modified: March 4, 2014