VDOT crews prepare for snow, ice on roads

Crews pretreating roads until storm arrives

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Virginia Department of Transportation crews continued pretreating roads Friday ahead of the weekend’s predicted winter storm. They warn that the cold weather could cause a lengthier cleanup process.

VDOT spokesman Jason Bond said Friday that cleanup from the December snowfall went well, but the temperatures this time around look to be lower than after last month’s storm, meaning less snow may melt.

“It was very hectic. It was a lot of snow. We dealt with it for a few days,” he said. “Fortunately, we had some warmer temperatures with that snowstorm and it really helped us out. Now, this storm, we have more concerns about these cold temperatures.”

VDOT crews will continue pretreating roads up until the time the storm arrives. They’re putting down brine -- bracing for snow -- and, in some areas, an abrasive that will help with handling ice.

With the threat of downed trees, crews have chainsaws ready to go.

“It certainly takes another layer of planning to be ready for not only snow but also ice and, of course, the downed trees creates a whole other challenge for getting ready for a storm like this,” Bond said.

He wants people be ready for this one, and not to relax just because the area has already had one big snow event this winter.

“Folks really need to take this storm seriously,” Bond said.

VDOT crews are asking people to stay off the roads if they can help it, particularly on Sunday. They say people should drive with extra caution if they choose to go out.

Public Works crews in the city of Roanoke are also preparing, including pre-treating roads.
“That process began at 4 o'clock this morning and will continue throughout the afternoon and we'll resume again on Saturday,” said Bob Bengtson, the Roanoke City Public Works Director.

He said crews may not need to plow downtown streets this weekend like they did during last month’s storm.

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