Roads treated, advisement issued ahead of Tuesday snow threat

VDOT treats all major roads ahead of system

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – With snow expected to hit southwest, central and southern Virginia Tuesday starting in the late afternoon, crews are treating roads in anticipation of slick conditions.

Virginia Department of Transportation workers began putting salt brine on interstates and highways starting Sunday, continuing work throughout the day Monday.

VDOT focused much of its efforts on Interstate 81, and routes 460 and 220. Jason Bond, a VDOT spokesman, said crews have been across hundreds of miles to pre-treat roads in the Roanoke Valley, New River Valley and Southside.

He said people should consider changing travel plans to get out ahead of the system, and check Virginia 511 once the snow starts falling.

"It's supposed to hit tomorrow, right around rush hour," he said. "That means drivers will probably see a very difficult commute."

The cold weather over the previous few days could make road conditions worse come Tuesday.

"The pavement temperatures are so very cold that if we do see any type of accumulation, it's going to stick and it's going to freeze fast," Bond said.

The forecast calls for temperatures to stay low, potentially below freezing, during the day Wednesday, which could lead to the snow sticking around longer than it would otherwise.

"It's expected not to warm up until sometime after Wednesday so what we do see accumulate is going to stay with us for a while," he said. "If we do see major accumulation, it is going to freeze and it's likely to form ice on some of those roadways."

Bond said secondary roads and side streets will be a concern once interstates and highways are clear.

"With any winter weather event, we're always on those major roads, interstates and primaries first, (so) as long as the snow continues to fall, that's where we will stay. We can't get to those secondary roads and neighborhood streets until we make progress on those major roads," he said.

He said that means Tuesday night into Wednesday secondary roads will probably be snow-covered until crews can make progress on plowing them.

Last week, icy conditions caused many crashes in the Roanoke and New River valleys. Cars slid into ditches and people were slipping on sidewalks.