VDOT News - Fredericksburg
|IMMEDIATE - 12:15 p.m.
Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
(540) 656-0321 cell
Jan. 16, 2022
FREDERICKSBURG DISTRICT: SNOWFALL HAS BEGUN
Motorists are advised to not travel during the winter storm, with heavy snowfall expected this afternoon, following by a mix of freezing rain, sleet and rain
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Snow has started to fall in the Fredericksburg area, and VDOT crews are mobilized districtwide with more than 870 total pieces of equipment to apply treatment materials as needed, and plow accumulating snow and slush.
Motorists should remain off the the roads until the storm passes, and road conditions improve. The latest information on road conditions across Virginia is available on 511Virginia.
Slick, hazardous and potentially icy road conditions are anticipated today, with snow-covered roads expected this afternoon as snowfall continues across the Fredericksburg area, the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.
Icing is a significant risk with this storm. Freezing rain following snow may create a glaze of ice on road surfaces, leading to extremely treacherous conditions. Combined with high winds during this storm, icing may lead to roads blocked by downed trees, utility lines and other debris.
In coastal areas of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, high wind gusts over 40 mph are anticipated with this storm, along with coastal flooding. Flooding in the Fredericksburg area may occur in low-lying areas that experience recurrent flooding. In the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, major water crossings may be posted at times with high wind advisory notices.
VDOT Crews Staged, Prepared for Storm
On Interstate 95, more than 130 pieces of equipment are dedicated to plowing and treating the interstate's travel lanes, ramps, shoulders, bridges and overpasses. Trucks will repeatedly circulate over the nearly 50 miles of interstate that passes through Caroline, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties and the City of Fredericksburg.
Six heavy-duty towing crews are located along I-95 in the region, with two crews in each county. A team of 16 interstate monitors, deployed in rotating 12-hour shifts, will drive the interstate to quickly identify icing and hazardous road conditions, and report any crashes, disabled vehicles or other incidents that occur during the storm.
More than 20 tree contractors are in position to assist crews with downed trees and debris removal as needed, with icing and wind expected to close roads and travel lanes.
Crews will focus first on plowing and treating roads that carry the most traffic, such as the interstate and primary routes, high-volume secondary roads, and roads that connect with critical emergency service facilities.
Earlier this week, I-95 and many primary routes were pre-treated with a salt brine solution, which helps prevent ice from bonding to the pavement during winter weather, and assists crews during snow removal. However, even with treatment, roads may still become slick and hazardous for travel.
VDOT's Fredericksburg District has a unified command underway for this storm to coordinate VDOT’s response with emergency responders along the I-95 corridor in the Fredericksburg area, and this command includes representatives from Virginia State Police and surrounding localities.
High Winds Protocol for Major Bridges
VDOT will be monitoring wind speeds on major river crossings in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, including:
- Norris Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties
- Downing Bridge, which carries Route 360 over the Rappahannock River between Richmond County and the Town of Tappahannock
- Route 223 bridge over Milford Haven, which connects mainland Mathews County with Gwynn's Island
- Eltham Bridge, which carries Route 30/Route 33 traffic over the Pamunkey River and connects the Town of West Point and New Kent County
- Lord Delaware Bridge, which carries Route 33 over the Mattaponi River and connects the Town of West Point and King and Queen County
If sustained winds reach 30 mph over a period of 30 minutes, or there are frequent wind gusts of 45 mph or greater, VDOT will post a high wind advisory notice on these bridges.
High-profile vehicles such as tractor-trailers, box trucks, and large vans and SUVs are advised to not cross the bridge when an advisory is posted. Trucks carrying small or empty loads may be especially at risk.
When sustained winds reach 45 mph or above over a period of 15 minutes, VDOT crews will post a bridge closure notice. However, bridges will not be physically barricaded.
Notices will be posted on message boards staged at the bridges, and communicated through VDOT news releases, VDOT social media platforms, and on 511Virginia.
The Route 223 bridge to Gwynn's Island in Mathews will be closed to marine traffic openings between 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, and 6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17.
In the Northern Neck, ferry service does not operate on Sundays. Service scheduled for the Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County on Monday, Jan. 17, will be evaluated based on weather conditions at that time.
Call 511, visit www.511Virginia.org, or use VDOT’s 511Virginia free mobile app to find real-time road conditions in any area of the state.
VDOT’s Customer Service Center
VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) and online at my.vdot.virginia.gov.
VDOT Online Snow Plow Tracker
VDOT’s online snow plow tracking map will be activated once 2 inches of snow or more has accumulated.
VDOT and contractor trucks are equipped with automatic vehicle location technology, and can be monitored on the tracker during snow removal operations.
Follow VDOT on Twitter @VaDOT and @VaDOTFRED
Connect with us on Facebook on our VDOT page, and VDOT Fredericksburg District group page.
Find VDOT Fredericksburg District news releases online on VDOT’s website, www.VirginiaDOT.org, under “Newsroom.”
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.