VDOT using special sensors to track temperature of roads

Published: Dec. 7, 2017 at 4:44 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2017 at 7:10 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VDOT is paying close attention to the temperature of roads all across the state, using special sensors which are strategically placed in the ground and air.

You've probably never paid close attention to them, but there are 10 road sensors across the Richmond metro, serving as extra sets of eyes for VDOT.

"Some of them are in the pavement and some of them are located in the air," said Lindsay LeGrand of VDOT.

It was announced Thursday that the Richmond region has $13.5 million budgeted for snow removal and 1,200 pieces of snow removal equipment available for use that includes plows and salt spreaders.

VDOT also says it has 62,000 tons of salt and 217,000 gallons of brine to help keep the roads clear.

They say their goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter weather event.

As the sensors monitor roads outside, VDOT crews can read real-time data inside to plot how to keep you safe.

Only VDOT staff has access to monitors which let them view a variety of road conditions including, how much ice has formed on roads, the temperature of those roads and whether or not traffic is flowing as it should be.

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"This is a live report and it changes based on how the weather changes," Bethanie Glover said pointing at the monitors.

That report tells transportation crews which roads need the most attention.

"Air temperatures are sometimes different from ground and pavement temperatures. That's why its really important for us to know how many materials to put down, where to dispatch our crews," LeGrand said.

That allows crews to apply salt and sand to break down ice and give you traction. Once there are two inches of snow on the ground, they'll get to plowing. It takes close monitoring to work smarter.

"Bridges, overpasses, even ramps that are elevated can freeze quicker than a regular roadway that's nestled in the ground," Glover said.

It's all an effort to keep you safe as electronic sensors keep close watch on Mother Nature's every move.

"We're ready to roll," Glover said.

VDOT says when you're out driving, give special attention to other cars, slow down and allow for more distance between you and the car in front of you.

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