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How VDOT handles winter roads

Pre-Treating Roads

When snow or ice is predicted, VDOT crews pre-treat trouble spots on interstates and other high-volume roads with anti-icing chemicals, including salt brine, magnesium chloride and calcium chloride.

These chemicals prevent a bond from forming between the road’s surface and the frozen precipitation before a storm.

 

Road Priorities

VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.

Crews first begin clearing interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities. Secondary roads and subdivision streets will be treated if multiday storms hit the commonwealth, but crews will focus efforts on those roads that carry the most traffic.

A statewide network of 77 weather sensors in roadways and bridges, plus 22 mobile video data platforms, allows crews to quickly identify when and where road surfaces might be freezing.