Jeffrey Caldwell 804-786-2715
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Dec. 21, 2009

Motorists Asked to Be Patient As Crews Work 24/7 to Make Roads Passable

RICHMOND —Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews continue working around-the-clock shifts to clear remaining snow and ice from roadways throughout much of the commonwealth. Interstate and primary roads are mostly clear statewide, but lower-traffic roads are still packed with snow and ice.

VDOT crews are now focusing efforts on reaching those secondary roads that have not yet been cleared of snow. Warmer temperatures and traffic have packed snow and changed much of it to ice, complicating and slowing the clearing of secondary roads. Crews are using a mixture of salt, sand and plowing to make all roads passable, but motorists are asked to be patient and use caution if they travel today.

“Our crews continue our 24/7 efforts to make all roads passable following this historic storm,” said VDOT Commissioner David S. Ekern. “We understand it can be frustrating for those whose road has not yet been cleared, but our crews main focus over the weekend was ensuring that interstate and primary roads were cleared first because they carry the most traffic. Our crews began working on secondary roads on Sunday and will work through the day and night to address remaining roads.”

Every available piece of equipment is being used to clear keep interstates and primary roads free of snow and ice and to clear secondary roads including state-owned and contractor snowplows, motor graders and tractors to hit assigned routes. If your road has not yet been cleared, but you notice that other are streets have been addressed, it means VDOT crews are in the area working to address local roads. If your street has not yet been cleared, it is not because your street was forgotten. VDOT crews may have had to return to their headquarters for additional supplies, or different plows may have been assigned different portions of your neighborhood.

Drivers are also reminded that if they must travel today and tomorrow, they should continue to use caution. Melting snow can quickly refreeze on roadways and reports of black ice are being received throughout the state. 

Driving Tips

VDOT reminds motorists to use caution when driving during wintry weather. Drivers should:

  • Check road conditions before you leave home by calling 511 or logging in to
  • Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road
  • Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary

VDOT’s Winter Weather Facts

  • VDOT has 2,314 pieces of snow removal equipment, 3,146 crew members, 62,000 tons of sand and 239,000 tons of salt working to clear roads during this storm, and it has enlisted private contractors to assist state crews.
  • VDOT crews will work around the clock to address this significant snowfall.
  • Crews focus on the highest traffic roads first—clearing interstate highways and major primary roads before working on secondary roads and subdivision streets
  • VDOT’s goal is to have all roads passable within 48 hours after a storm ends

Motorist Resources

VDOT has a variety of information sources for road condition updates. The 511 traveler-information service gives drivers the most up-to-date data available about weather, construction and accidents that may affect travel. Updates can be received by calling 511 from any landline or wireless phone or by going online to to view traffic cameras, the road condition map and the road condition table-report. Individuals can sign up for e-mail alerts that include weather and incident reporting on the 511 Web site.

For overall winter weather information, VDOT’s Web site includes frequently asked questions, driving tips and tools for motorists to learn more about VDOT’s winter preparedness at

Drivers can also view videos detailing how VDOT prepares for winter weather and address snow and ice on You Tube. Snow videos are posted at

For more information about Virginia’s efforts to prepare for winter weather and other emergencies, visit The National Weather Service, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Social Services and other state agencies have created the “Ready Virginia” resource to provide residents and visitors with a one-stop shop for emergency preparedness tips and information.




Editor’s Note: VDOT public affairs staff will be available to address any snow-removal media requests throughout the weekend. To get in touch with your regional public affairs representative, visit

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012