RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VDOT crews have been on the road for several days pre-treating and laying down brine getting ready for the second winter storm of the season.
“We are able to put a brine solution on the roads and that’s a mix of water and salt; what it does is help prevent a bond forming between the road and snow that might fall,” Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessica Cowardin said.
She said it’s all hands on deck until the snow passes. Crews will be working 12 hour shifts around the clock to clear roads. VDOT’s goal is to have roads passable within 48-hours after the snow ends with areas with 6-inches or less.
“Getting the snow plows placed on the trucks. Getting the spreaders on the trucks and loading up the salt and sand,” Cowardin said of what was happening on Thursday and Friday.
Corwardin said they are facing a different beast compared to the December snow.
“We are smack dab in the middle of winter and in the December storm we had temperatures more on our side. We are looking at colder temperatures for this storm," Cowardin said.
VDOT will first focus on clearing interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads that connect to localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities. Once weather conditions allow, they will then move their focus to secondary roads.
By Saturday night, snow was starting to fall, but roads were clear into the early evening.
“It’s nice out here now but we all know that’s going to change," Richmond Public Works Spokesperson Sharon North said earlier this week.
VDOT handles the major interstates and highways but the City of Richmond handles their own roads.
“We are already treating hills and bridges and making sure they aren’t iced up once the weather turns bad on us," said North.
Richmond Public Works has about 50 dump trucks and 23 trucks with plows that will focus on the main roads.
“(Our crews) start with the primary roads and the streets that are big. Streets like Broad Street. We need to keep those clear because those are snow emergency routes," North said.
No matter where you live, officials want you to give their crews room.
“Give our crews space. We are out there trying to make it safer for drivers so if you see brine trucks or salt and sand trucks, just give us some space," Cowardin said.
Also, make sure your cars are off the road.
“We don’t want to have to plow your car in as we are going down because then you will have to dig it out," North said.
Once snow begins, officials advise against being on the roadways. If you must be out, you can find real-time updates on road conditions.