The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
VDOT responds to snow
The Virginia Department of Transportation has started its work clearing Fredericksburg-area roads, in response to the snow.
Here’s the latest information from a VDOT press release:
Snowfall has begun in the western portion of the 14-county Fredericksburg District.
VDOT crews are responding with nearly 600 pieces of equipment across the district to plow roads, and to spread sand and salt to give motorists additional traction, and to help melt ice.
Once it begins to snow in their area, motorists are encouraged to delay travel, if possible.
Before starting a trip, travelers can check 511Virginia for the latest road conditions. Call 511, visit www.511Virginia.org, or use VDOT’s 511Virginia free mobile app to find real-time road conditions in any area of the state.
VDOT’s goal is to have all roads passable within 48 hours of a storm’s end. Roads carrying the heaviest amount of traffic are cleared first, such as interstates, primary roads, and key secondary roads that connect employment centers and public safety facilities. Once these roads are clear, VDOT plows subdivision streets and low-volume secondary roads.
VDOT crews will remain at work 24 hours a day, working in 12-hour shifts, until all roads are clear and safe for travel.
Yesterday, VDOT pre-treated major travel routes in the Fredericksburg District in advance of the storm, including Interstate 95. Anti-icing prevents ice from bonding to the pavement during inclement weather, which reduces the risk of hazardous travel conditions.
VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards at 1-800-FOR-ROAD(800-367-7623).
Winter Weather Travel Safety Tips
- · The safest place during a winter storm is indoors. About 70 percent of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.
- · If motorists stay off the roads during a winter storm, transportation workers and public-safety officials can clear roads and respond more quickly to emergency needs.
- · Keep your car’s windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
- · 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 and overpasses.
- · 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.