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VDOT: Snow, slush piles up on area roads

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From a news release from the Virginia Department of Transportation: 

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — As heavier than anticipated amounts of snow continue to fall across the Richmond region, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews and its contractors are out in full force treating and plowing major routes.

Although pavement temperatures remain above freezing, snow and slush are accumulating on roads due to the heavy precipitation. Drivers are strongly advised to delay travel to allow crews to treat and clear roads.

Pavement temperatures are expected to drop to below freezing overnight. Any moisture remaining on the roadways will likely freeze, especially on untreated roads, bridges and overpasses. A wintery mix is expected to impact the region tomorrow during the morning commute. VDOT encourages drivers to monitor weather conditions before heading out tomorrow morning and be prepared to alter their travel plans if necessary.

VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:

  • Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
  • Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
  • Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
  • If you begin to skid, do not brake. Take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.

VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends.

Crews first clear interstates, primary roads (routes numbered 1-599) and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities. They will then shift resources to secondary routes as conditions allow.

Drivers are encouraged to check VDOT’s 511 travel website, http://www.511virginia.org, before traveling. The website is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia.

Once on the road, VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.