VDOT News - Richmond



Bethanie Glover 804-835-3857; Media inquiries 804-586-4455


March 24, 2021

All tree debris is expected to be substantially cleared by June

SOUTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Richmond District is making progress in an effort to remove tree debris from the roadsides following a major Feb. 13 ice storm, as part of an emergency contract through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). As of Mar. 22, more than 87,000 cubic yards of tree debris has been removed from interstate, primary and secondary roadsides in the 14-county district. It is estimated that the Feb. 13 ice storm generated in excess of 400,000 cubic yards of debris within the District. The heaviest debris lies in Dinwiddie, Nottoway, and Lunenburg Counties, with smaller amounts in the remaining counties of the district.

Prior to debris removal, crews are also cutting and removing an estimated 126,000 hanging tree limbs to eliminate hazards over travel lanes. Once the cutting operation is completed within an area, the debris removal operations begin. It could appear that the debris along the roadside is increasing, and this is due to cutting operations prior to hauling. Weather permitting, the cleanup process is expected to be substantially completed by June 2021.

“We appreciate residents’ and drivers’ patience knowing that the tree removal process will take time,” said Richmond District Maintenance Engineer Sean Nelson, P.E. “Thousands of trees and limbs fell during the Feb. 13 ice storm, and caused historic debris impacts throughout the south-central Virginia area.”


On Friday, Feb. 26, the VDOT Richmond District began a long-term tree debris cleanup contract with VDEM in response to the Feb. 13 freezing rain event. The storm caused ice to weigh heavily on elevated surfaces, resulting in widespread fallen trees and downed power lines. Immediately following the storm, VDOT crews moved tree debris to the roadsides and coordinated with utility companies to remove power lines so that travel lanes could reopen as quickly as possible. Crews are now moving through each affected route to pick up roadside tree debris.

What residents should know

  • Crews have documented the amounts and locations of all roadside tree debris in the district.
  • Please know that crews are on the way to address tree debris. Hundreds of roads were impacted by the storm and the cleanup process will take time.
  • New road hazards or questions can be reported to VDOT by calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or visiting https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Please remember that cities and towns maintain their own roads. Henrico County also maintains its own secondary roads.


VDOT’s Richmond District oversees road maintenance 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 road maintenance for their secondary roads (numbered 600 and above) and subdivision streets. Cities that provide their own road maintenance 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: March 24, 2021