|SALEM – With a winter weather event forecasted to bring western Virginia snow or freezing rain on Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing to plow and treat roads this weekend. Motorists are urged to monitor weather forecasts, avoid driving during the height of the storm and consider postponing travel until conditions improve.
To help with snow removal operations, equipment operators began applying a salt-and-water solution called brine ahead of the storm to interstates and main roads on Thursday. Pretreatment will continue on Friday. Applying brine helps prevent snow or ice from bonding on the road surface and makes it easier to remove when crews plow.
VDOT road crews and contractors are gearing up to work in 12-hour shifts around the clock to plow or treat roads. Crews will be plowing snow-covered roads and applying chemicals or abrasives to provide traction on icy roadways. Debris removal crews will also be ready to respond to downed trees if a significant icing event does occur.
Drivers are reminded of the following:
•VDOT’s first priority in any winter weather event is plowing the interstates and primary roads (those numbered 1-599) and high-volume secondary roads. Snowplow operators will be making multiple passes over these major routes and will not plow low-volume secondary roads or neighborhood streets (those numbered 600 and above) until the precipitation stops and progress is made on the main roads.
•VDOT reminds residents to avoid parking on the street or in cul-de-sacs because vehicles in the street can block plows and slow down snow removal operations.
•VDOT does not plow snow on private roads or driveways. When snow accumulates, residents are encouraged to shovel driveways to the right when facing the roadway to reduce how much snow a plow pushes back into a driveway as it passes.
Real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads is available using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the www.511Virginia.orgwebsite and phone system.