The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing for a winter storm that is forecast to drop several inches of snow Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning in the Richmond region. Crews are readying equipment for the storm, which is expected to begin around noon and continue through early morning Wednesday.
Over the next 24 hours, VDOT and its contractors will be applying anti-icing treatment to major routes such as I-95, I-64, I-295, Route 150 and Route 288 to prevent snow from bonding with the pavement. Pre-treatment can be applied up to 48 hours before a winter weather event. Motorists are reminded that ice and snow can still produce hazardous driving conditions, even when roads are treated. Once the storm begins, crews will apply sand and salt to major routes to melt snow/ice and provide traction.
VDOT advises drivers to use caution when traveling tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday morning. The temperature is expected to stay well below freezing and may result in dangerous driving conditions, particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps.
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.
- Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
- Reduce speed as appropriate and 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.
- Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
- Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org.