Virginia Beach vs. Norfolk on Snow cleanup: You be the judge

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jan 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-30 18:53:57-05

The difference is stark just as you drive over the city line--Virginia Beach Boulevard in Norfolk, covered in ice and snow, then just past the Newtown Road intersection in Virginia Beach, it’s clear, smooth and ice-free.

“I feel Virginia Beach outclassed Norfolk,” said Carlton Weaver, who lives in Norfolk.

Weaver articulated what many commuters who travel between the two cities saw with their own eyes, and even though Virginia Beach Boulevard was bad, it paled in comparison to the snow covered streets in Downtown Norfolk.

“It was rough driving, slippery with lots of ice,” said Marva Wynn, who still had to get to work this week and had a hard time navigating icy roads like 21st Street in Norfolk.

It's considered a primary route by the city and should have been cleared first, but trucks were still slipping and sliding Thursday afternoon.

In Virginia Beach, crews already finished all the primary roads and moved onto their secondary routes.

“There shouldn’t be a difference between either of these cities,” said Wynn.

So why did Virginia Beach do better than Norfolk in clearing their main roads?

The answer, it seems, comes down to VDOT.

Both cities put in requests for VDOT crews to help plow and salt the roads.

Virginia Beach asked for 50 trucks and got them while Norfolk only asked for 24 trucks.

“It’s not good at all; it should have been the same. They should have asked, they should have been more prepared,” said Wynn.

The City of Virginia Beach also used more than 2,000 tons of sand and salt this week while Norfolk only reported using 400 tons.

When we asked what grade Norfolk would get for their snow response…

“I would give the City of Norfolk a C,” said Weaver.

The City of Norfolk sent NewsChannel 3 this statement:

"Public Works crews have worked for the last 48 hours plowing, treating and clearing city streets. Currently primary roads are approximately 70 percent plowed and treated. Bridges, overpasses, and underpasses are 100 percent cleared. Downtown streets are approximately 90 percent plowed and 65 percent cleared. Local contracted support will continue downtown clearing efforts throughout the day.  We anticipate completing all primary routes by the end of the day.  The warmer temperatures and sun are a real asset.
Virginia Beach has twice as many miles of roadway as Norfolk, so it is logical that they requested twice as many trucks. Norfolk requested 24 VDOT trucks.

The City of Norfolk is using best practices and sound fiscal judgment in completing snow and ice removal during this winter weather event. As such we are very proud of our efforts."