VDOT crews begin pre-treating roads ahead of this weekend’s winter weather

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 1:00 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:26 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As winter weather makes its way into central Virginia this weekend, VDOT crews are pretreating the roads ahead of time.

VDOT crews are preparing equipment and pretreating all interstates and major primary and secondary roads in the 14 county Richmond District.

Crews say the roads will be treated with salt water brine to reduce the chance of ice sticking to the pavement.

Despite the forecast calling for rain before the snowfall, VDOT spokesperson Bethanie Glover says the agency is confident its pretreatment won’t get washed away.

“Our crews still saw some value in pretreating routes this time to reduce the chance of icy bonds forming with the pavement,” Glover said.

Gary Jennings, Acting Richmond District Maintenance Engineer, spoke about driver safety during winter weather.

“Drivers should make preparations now to limit nonessential travel during and after the storm. We urge drivers to plan travel around a winter storm, not during the storm,” Jennings said.

VDOT says more than 1,400 pieces of equipment, including trucks, plows, tractors, and motor graders, are ready in the Richmond District to address road impacts during and after winter weather events.

VDOT says they’ll have crews working around the clock after the snowfall Saturday to clear the roads as soon as possible.

“Crews will keep an eye out on the weather, and once a storm begins, they’ll be in 12 shifts in 24-hour operations until all roads are safe and possible,” Glover said. “That could mean addressing any icy patches with salt to break down ice and sand to provide traction, all the way up to plowing any snow that has accumulated above two inches.”

Here are some tips for drivers:

  • Give pretreating crews and snowplows plenty of room (at least 100 feet) and don’t pass them. Drivers may encounter slow-moving equipment on the roads during winter weather events.
  • Follow all safety guidance from local officials and resources, and prepare now before precipitation begins over the weekend.

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