'Crews are on standby'; VDOT pretreats I-64, James River Bridge ahead of winter storm

Posted at 11:36 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 17:07:16-05

Virginia Department of Transportation officials met Thursday to discuss preparations for Virginia's incoming winter storm.

Those preparations include pre-treatment to all major roads, including I-64, starting from the New Kent County line to Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. The James River Bridge is also being treated.

Stephen Brich, VDOT's commissioner of highways, says while Hampton Roads may not see a majority of the snow, he is concerned about the chance of refreezing throughout the entire Commonwealth.

Due to low temperatures going into Friday night and Saturday morning, VDOT will also have crews out following the storm.

"We will have the probability of a refreeze event for any water left on the roadway as we transition from Friday into Saturday," Birch explained. "We have crews on standby to be able to put down sand and abrasives in those areas we identify where we may have standing water."

VDOT says it's currently restocking materials and equipment in all of Virginia's nine districts.

"Since Monday's storm we have taken this time to restock materials and then make the necessary equipment repairs," said Birch.

VDOT is also working with city departments to cut down trees that are close to power lines, and if they cannot be cut down, de-energizing those power lines until the storm passes.

The National Weather Service says they are not expecting this storm to be as strong as Monday's.

"Timing of this is in our favorite a little bit...this is an overnight snowfall...and it's going to take awhile to push east," said Jeff Orrock with the National Weather Service. "If the system comes in a little bit stronger, the storm system is going to track across North Carolina and then really across Hampton Roads and out to sea."