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VDOT urges motorists to limit travel; some roads may have ‘longer response time frames’

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are urging travelers to limit travel as much as possible as they work to clear roadways.

VDOT says crews are working 12-hour shifts as they plow and treat roads around the clock.

“With most interstates and primary routes in clear condition, VDOT crews may be able to shift focus to secondary routes and neighborhood streets,” said a VDOT spokesperson. “This slow-moving winter storm dropped record amounts of heavy snow across the southern and southwest parts of the state.”

VDOT says their goal is typically to make all roads passable within 48 hours after a storm’s end, but due to heavy accumulations with this storm, outlying areas may experience “longer response time frames” as crews continue to progress.

Officials are advising travelers to stay home, if possible, while crews continue to remove snow from roadways. Crews are focused on plowing and pushing snow away from roadway shoulders, turn lanes, shaded areas and ramps, officials say.

Motorists who must travel are encouraged to use extra caution as snow removal equipment may move slower than other traffic.

“While daytime temperatures will assist in snow removal efforts, overnight temperatures may continue to cause potential refreeze and increase the likelihood for black ice,” officials warned.

VDOT also offered these tips to stay safe if traveling:

  • Clear the snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof, hood and trunk and especially from the windows, mirrors and lights.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Leave a few minutes early.
  • Start out slowly in the lowest gear recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.
  • Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
  • Don't pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary. Treat these as you would emergency response vehicles.
  • Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car.

Click here to report a weather-related road issue to VDOT or call 1-800-FOR-ROADS.

Visit 511virginia.org or call 511 from any phone in Virginia or using the free 511Virginia app for the latest road conditions and traffic info.