VDOT prepares for severe winter weather
The Virginia Department of Transportation is prepared for another winter, with the view that severe weather seems to have become the new normal.
In a related press release, VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley said "residents and motorists [need] to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Have a plan. And most importantly, be where you need to be before the weather gets bad."
The state's $126 million snow-removal budget this year represents an increase of $20 million aboe last year's budget. Within 48 hours after a winter storm, VDOT's goal is to have all roads passable. Interstates and primary roads will be cleared first, then major high-traffic secondary roads. The aim is to keep open those roads that connect localities and important public facilities such as fire stations, hospitals and schools.
In addition to more than 6,700 state and hired pieces of equipment to pretreat and clear roads, VDOT has access to weather videos as well as sensors in roads and bridges to allow crews to identify those road surfaces that might be freezing.
The best tip for safety during a winter storm is to stay off the road. If you must travel, avoid traffic and slow down. Have an emergency supply kit with you that has blankets, flashlight and batteries, and water.
For more information, see www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp and for update road conditions, visit www.511virginia.org.