Drivers urged to avoid travel during ice event

With winter weather anticipated to impact Virginia on Wednesday, Dec. 16, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging drivers to avoid travel during this storm as significant icing is expected to create hazardous road conditions in southwestern Virginia.

VDOT crews and contractors spent Tuesday pre-treating major roads and interstates ahead of the storm. Drivers should use caution around slower moving equipment that will be applying brine. Pretreating roads with this salt and water solution does not stop ice or snow from accumulating on pavement, but it does help crews with de-icing or snow removal operations.

VDOT will respond to this storm with equipment operators working in 12-hour shifts to plow or treat roads and remove downed trees. For ice events, crews will apply salt or other chemicals for melting and crushed stone or other abrasives to provide traction.

The agency’s top priority in any winter weather event are the interstates and primary roads (those numbered 1-599) and highvolume secondary roads. Equipment operators will be making multiple passes over these major routes and will not work on low-volume secondary roads or neighborhood streets until the precipitation stops and progress is made on the main roads.

To report downed trees on state maintained roads, contact VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (7623) or go to http://www.virginiadot.org and click on the Report a Road Problem link.

Travelers can get real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads by using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the www.511Virginia.org website and phone system, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.

The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, and Roanoke.

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