VDOT News - Richmond


IMMEDIATE - 4 p.m.

Sara Owens 804-586-1446; Media Inquiries: 804-586-4455


Feb. 12, 2021

Continue to postpone nonessential travel until temperatures rise and roads are safe

SOUTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Richmond District crews spent Friday clearing roads left slushy and slippery by overnight snow and freezing rain. Roads with over two inches of accumulation were plowed and all routes were treated with salt to melt ice and sand to enhance traction. Road conditions currently range from clear in the southernmost counties to minor in the north. 

Crews will continue working in 12-hour shifts tonight and into tomorrow as yet another wave of winter weather involving ice moves into the area. Wet pavement and low temperatures could result in overnight refreeze, and conditions during and after the ice storm are likely to be hazardous. 

Looking ahead to Saturday, VDOT urges drivers to postpone nonessential travel until the ice threat ends. 

“There is no safe way to travel in icy conditions,” said Sean Nelson, Richmond District Maintenance Engineer. “Ice on roads can be harder to clear and we ask for patience and room to get in and get the roads safe and passable as quickly as possible. A big concern will be downed trees and power lines in the roadway which is going to be a major hazard with this upcoming event. It’s also important to note that anything that is wet could be ice, so use caution if you must be out on the roads.”

For those that must travel, VDOT advises that drivers clear all snow off their vehicles before heading out, pay close attention to local forecasts, slow down and leave plenty of space between vehicles.

Towing contractors will be staged overnight to be on the interstates to assist with traffic incidents. Tree crews also remain on standby to remove debris from travel lanes or potential fallen trees due to ice.

Road Condition Definitions

During winter storms, road conditions are present on 511Virginia using three ratings: minor, moderate and severe. These terms are defined as the following:

  • Minor: Potential for patches of ice and snow on roadway; passable with caution.
  • Moderate: Snow or ice is covering major portions of the roadway; passable with caution.
  • Severe: A significant accumulation of snow or ice is blocking the roadway; conditions are hazardous.




VDOT’s Richmond District oversees snow removal activities on approximately 19,000 lane miles of roads in 14 counties in central Virginia: Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico (primary routes only), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince George counties. Henrico County provides snow removal for their secondary roads (numbered 600 and above) and subdivision streets. Cities that provide their own snow removal include Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, and the towns of Ashland, Blackstone, Chase City and South Hill.

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: Feb. 12, 2021