VDOT prepares for winter weather, reminds drivers to plan ahead
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is mobilizing its equipment and resources in preparation for a winter weather event to impact parts of Virginia.
Incoming rain throughout the Commonwealth is forecasted to shift to sleet and freezing rain in the northern, northwestern, and central areas of the Commonwealth beginning late Wednesday night and going through Thursday morning.
This weather event is expected to impact VDOT’s Staunton, Salem, Culpeper, Northern Virginia and Lynchburg districts.
VDOT says they are paying close attention to the forecast and preparing for what could be a significant icing event. District crews will not apply liquid pretreatment to roads in areas where the event is forecasted to start as rain, which will wash away the pretreatment application.
Crews are preparing equipment and will be ready to treat roadways with salt, sand, and abrasives as precipitation transitions to sleet or freezing rain.
Motorists should pay attention to weather forecasts in areas where they plan to drive and delay travel on Thursday morning in the impacted areas, especially along the I-81 corridor, Culpeper and Northern Virginia regions.
Safety and Travel Resources
When winter weather arrives, residents and motorists should plan travel ahead of time, check road conditions, prepare an emergency car kit, follow forecasts and announcements and limit travel based on conditions.
Prior to travel, motorists should visit 511virginia.org, call 511 or check the 511 Virginia mobile app for up-to-date information on road and traffic conditions.
Visit VDOT’s winter weather page for more information about winter weather preparations and responses.
For questions or to report hazardous road conditions, the public should contact VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).
Statewide Improvements for the 2022-2023 Season
In addition to its traditional year-round snow preparation, VDOT made improvements to address items from the Snow Removal and I-95 Incident Performance Audits by the State Inspector General and the Winter Weather Event and I95 Interagency After-Action Report by CNA:
- Improved contracting to be more flexible, competitive, and attractive to contractors to address equipment and personnel shortages.
- Improved communications and command structure for better internal and interagency cooperation during crisis events.
- Assigned staff to drive routes and report on conditions to supplement traffic cameras.
- Acquired a system to allow two-way communications between drivers and VDOT within a defined geographic area.
- Continued participation in winter weather exercises, led by The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, to foster interagency cooperation.
Resources and Readiness
In addition to operational improvements, VDOT maintains a number of resources to contend with inclement weather.
- $220 million statewide budgeted for winter weather in 2022-2023
- 11,493 pieces of equipment (VDOT-owned and contracted equipment combined, as of Nov. 30)
- Approximately 1,148 vehicle contracts in process, and is continuing to receive additional contract bids (as of Nov. 30)
- More than 696,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives, and more than 2.3 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine
Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.