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VDOT says drivers ‘must stay off the roads’ in areas impacted by winter weather

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 8:55 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:23 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Transportation is telling drivers to stay off the roads in areas impacted by winter weather.

VDOT said crews are working around the clock through Saturday as snow fell in Virginia on Thursday. Certain regions could also see some more snow on Friday and Saturday.

“Motorists must stay off the roads in affected regions through Saturday until roads are passable,” VDOT said.

Rain and snow on Thursday, paired with sub-freezing temperatures, are expected to refreeze and cause dangerous road conditions.

Early Thursday afternoon, Richmond Police closed off the Boulevard Bridge due to the weather.

“Despite mild temperatures in the Hampton Roads area today, the region is likely to receive four inches or more of snow. If travel is absolutely necessary, plan to reach your destination before snow begins. Icing and freezing will also make roads dangerous. Areas where wind circulates more freely, such as bridges, ramps, and overpasses typically freeze first,” VDOT said.

VDOT spokesperson Kyle Gibson says crews have been working 12-hour shifts, applying salt and sand to trouble spots all over central Virginia to help melt the ice faster. But Gibson warns that those treatments may become less effective as temperatures continue to drop.

“It’s getting really cold, and then it will continue to be cold through tomorrow if these temperatures hold through the morning and the afternoon, too,” Gibson said. “The salt won’t be able to be as effective as it normally is, and that will also create those adverse conditions for drivers.”

VDOT, state police, and emergency officials all give the same urgent warning: Stay home, if you can.

“Avoid travel unless it’s absolutely necessary just to help them stay safe and help our crews continue to fight the slick spots as they pop-up,” Gibson said.

For more on the latest road conditions, click here.

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