VDOT Advises Motorists To Avoid Travel During Winter Storm

VDOT crews prepare for heavy snow this weekend.
Additional resources routed to Eastern Shore in advance of snowfall
Hampton Roads is once again poised for weekend winter weather, and motorists across the region must limit non-essential travel to avoid hazardous road conditions.
During the next 24 hours, snow, high winds, and below-freezing temperatures are anticipated throughout the region. And in the midst of this inclement weather, the safest place to be is inside.
Although most of Hampton Roads can anticipate snow accumulation up to four inches, the Eastern Shore is expected to receive the highest snowfall totals. For this reason, the district has secured and shifted additional resources to that area, including staffing and equipment such as:
  • An additional 22 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders, for a total of 45.
  • Six additional loaders.
  • Five tree crews to assist with downed trees, branches, and debris that may fall across the roads.
  • One staged, heavy-duty rotator wrecker for assistance as-needed.
  • An incident management coordinator to assist with clearing incidents and working with heavy-duty equipment.
Overall, 325 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders stand ready to respond to any precipitation the district receives. Approximately 60,000 gallons of brine was distributed onto interstates and primary routes in advance of the storm’s arrival, with those operations completed Friday morning.
Also on Friday, crews began working in shifts as part of 24-hour operations to clear and treat the interstate and state-maintained roadways as needed. VDOT maintains all interstates, major state-maintained primary routes, and county roads in Hampton Roads. Individual municipalities maintain their own primary and secondary routes.
The 64 Express Lanes (reversible roadway) will be closed starting as early as 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, through 5 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 31. This closure allows for safer and more efficient snow removal operations during the winter weather.
Depending on marine storm conditions, the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry may potentially experience reductions in capacity and service outages. Motorists can call the ferry hotline at 1-800-VA-FERRY for status updates on ferry service. Plan for an alternate route if necessary.
Winter weather preparations across the state are underway for interstates and state-maintained roads. District-specific travel alerts and storm information can be found at https://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/news_from_vdot.asp.
VDOT will continue to monitor road surfaces as temperatures and conditions change throughout the weekend.
Motorists should continue to monitor changing weather and road conditions throughout the duration of the inclement weather.
If travel is unavoidable:
  • Visit www.511Virginia.org for the latest road conditions before traveling. If possible, avoid travel until precipitation stops and road conditions improve.
  • Give crews time and space to treat roads.
  • Remove snow and ice from vehicles before traveling.
  • If you must travel during adverse weather conditions:
    • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
    • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you.
    • Brake very lightly to keep your tires from slipping on pavement.
    • Do not crowd or pass snowplows.
    • Keep an emergency winter weather kit in your vehicle which includes food, water, first aid materials, tools and blankets in the event of a breakdown or stoppage.
  • Free 511 Virginia Tools –Get the latest traffic conditions before traveling by calling 511, or go to www.511virginia.org. You also can download Virginia’s free 511 mobile app at https://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.
  • 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) –Report road hazards or ask road-related questions at VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by calling this statewide toll-free number.
  • Twitter –Follow us @VaDOTHR and @511hamptonroads for the latest traffic updates during a storm.
  • WAZE – VDOT recently partnered with Wazeto add a new feature to the navigation software app that allows users to report, in real-time during winter weather, when a road has not been plowed. It will also inform travelers when they are approaching a road that has been identified by other drivers as unplowed.
For more winter driving information, please visit virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.
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