Brr! Don't Forget Your Mittens Out There
Jan. 7, 2014: “I wear my convertible mittens during the cold conditions,” advises Sharon Morales, VDOT's Safety Resource manager. “My mittens are really ‘fingertip-less’ gloves with a mitten covering. My fingers radiate warmth inside the mitten portion. When I need dexterity, the mitten section flips up revealing my gloved fingers. Wearing mittens is the best way to keep fingers warm.”
Here are some other winter weather tips:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before shoveling snow. These substances increase your heart rate and may cause your blood vessels to constrict, increasing your risk for a heart attack.
- If you have certain conditions, such as asthma, heart problems or Raynaud's disease, check with your doctor about safely working in cold weather. Your doctor can review any special precautions you need based on your condition or medications you might take.
- Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed.
First Layer: A thin layer of synthetic material which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Second Layer: Add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Third Layer: Top with a waterproof, breathable outer layer. A heavy down jacket or vest may cause you to overheat if you're exercising hard. If you're lean, you may need more insulation than someone who is heavier.
- Wear a hat in cold outdoor working conditions. Up to 10 percent of your body heat can be lost through your head!
- If it's very cold, consider wearing a face mask or scarf to warm the air before it enters your lungs.
- Help keep your balance when walking on slippery surfaces by keeping your hands out of your pockets. Wear gloves or mittens.
Remember: Maintain three points of contact to increase stability and reduce your chance of slipping or falling when climbing onto or off of equipment.
Caption: Kevin King returns from a 12-hour shift pushing snow in the Tappahannock area during a 2010 winter storm.
Back To School (Again)
Dec. 10, 2013: For the fourth straight year, Donald Mays (right) of the Bryant area headquarters in Nelson County has gone back to school for VDOT.
Bringing various pieces of equipment, Donald represented VDOT during Rockfish River Elementary School’s Community Workers’ Day event.
He has taken a truck or motor grader in the past, but this year he decided to show his truck “dressed for winter weather.”
“He did a super job, as usual,” said Stacey Johnson, Rockfish River Elementary’s library media specialist,
The children eagerly asked questions and Donald provided entertaining answers and real life examples. And, the big bag of candy he shares never fails to bring huge smiles.
Gold In Paving
Nov. 20, 2013: In 2010, the Richmond District began working on a pothole patching blitz on Route 195 (Downtown Expressway) in Richmond. This year, the project brings home a gold award.
The American Concrete Paving Association recognized VDOT for excellence in Concrete Pavement Restoration in its 24th Annual Excellence in Concrete Pavement awards for 2013.
“The road needed more than just temporary repairs,” said Doug Kisamore, Richmond District construction manager, “We ended up completely replacing the concrete.”
The project stretched almost two miles from Meadow Street to West Cary Street, and included 12 ramps with the mainline road. The new concrete pavement provides more safety and a smoother ride for drivers.
The award winners were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts from across the U.S. and Canada. VDOT was one of only 31 winners in North America recognized for excellence in paving.
Answering The Call
Sept. 16, 2013: Petersburg Residency Administrator Bob Zimmerman (at right in photo) was on vacation when dark clouds hovering over the Richmond District opened wide.
Rain fell at an alarming rate, and some roads quickly became impassable in Prince George County. Zimmerman received a call that a bridge had washed out on Route 10.
He immediately reported to the scene where he found pavement washout, erosion, downed trees and guardrail damage.
Zimmerman decided to close the bridge and posted a detour that would take motorists an additional 35 minutes.
The road remained closed for about a week, making travel difficult for locals and delivery trucks.
“The work that had to be done was as involved as a major project. We had to figure out what materials, equipment we’d need, perform thorough inspections and manage the area as if we had an open work zone, but with an emergency timeline,” said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman was the subject of a resolution for his service at the Prince George County Board of Supervisors meeting. The resolution commended Zimmerman and VDOT for “their immediate response to the imminent dangers posed by this storm and assisting tirelessly in the County recovery efforts.”