VDOT reflects on first winter storm, plans ahead for next round

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 17:20:53-05

Suffolk, Va. - Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation are reflecting on this past weekend's storm.

Roads were slick this weekend when winter weather hit Hampton Roads, now road crews are planning ahead so that they can better protect the roads when more storms come to our area.

"Whether the pavement is wet or slushy you can still have a problem even though the roads are in good condition by our standards," explained Bill Collier, VDOT Interstate Maintenance Manager.

According to Virginia State Police, between Friday, Jan. 22 and  7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, Virginia State Police responded to a total 8,412 calls for service, including 1,562 traffic crashes and another 2,502 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth.

The Hampton Roads region experienced the most traffic crashes with state troopers responding to 570 crashes.

VDOT says they did their part by prepared the roads well in advance of the storm. They had 25,000 tons of salt on hand and nearly 10,000 tons of sand in addition to  approximately 2,500 crew members and more than 13,000 pieces of equipment, including plows, trucks and spreaders, for snow-removal operations statewide.

Now they are hoping that drivers will see how dangerous the roads can be during winter weather and will take their time during the next storm.

" A lot of time our trucks are out there and they are being passed by vehicles. Drivers need to pay attention," said Collier.  Our drivers are out there and we have very few accidents ourselves so the roads are in decent condition."

Crews work to clear interstates and primary roads (routes numbered 1-599) first, then major secondary roads (routes numbered 600 and above) with vital emergency and public facilities, then other secondary roads and subdivision streets. Crews first focus their efforts on those roads that carry the most traffic.