The Virginia Department of Transportation’s plow-tracking technology, expanded monitor program and a new one-stop shop for online resources are among the tools the agency will use this winter in northern Virginia.
When snow arrives, VDOT is ready to plow and treat 13,413 lane miles across Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William and Arlington counties (Arlington County maintains its own secondary roads). Almost 11,000 lane miles are secondary and subdivision streets.
VDOT has budgeted $82.7 million for snow removal in northern Virginia this winter, and the agency’s state and contracted fleet is ready with more than 4,500 pieces of equipment.
“It is never too early to prepare,” said Lauren Mollerup, P.E., VDOT’s maintenance engineer for northern Virginia, at today’s annual snow briefing. “Throughout the year we plan for our winter equipment, materials, and staffing, and today is a good reminder for everyone at home to prepare too—to check vehicles and emergency kits, to consider inclement weather commutes and telework plans, and to become familiar with our online resources.”
Highlights for 2016-17:
- One stop-shop for resources: Visit www.virginiadot.org/novaemergency to access all of VDOT’s online information resources, including important messages and updates, news releases, and links to the customer service center, 511, and vdotplows.org.
- Monitor program expanded: This year, 180 VDOT employees will ride the roads to monitor road conditions and snowplow progress, and more than 30 employees will monitor remotely via the automatic vehicle locator (AVL) equipment.
VDOT continues close relationships with the National Weather Service and Iteris to receive the latest forecasts to create mobilization plans. Crews will continue to treat critical locations ahead of weather with liquid magnesium chloride or brine, including about 450 lane miles on interstates and about 1,700 lane miles on other major roads.
During and after storms, crews will work around the clock to clear interstates and main routes, and continue work after the storm ends until there is at least one passable lane on all neighborhood streets.
VDOT encourages all residents, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to learn more about VDOT’s operations and how they can help:
- Monitor forecasts
- Adjust commutes, telework, and avoid driving if possible
- Ensure enough gas, wiper fluid, proper tires, food, water and medicine when driving
- Park in driveways or work with neighbors to park on the same side of the street to give plows room to pass. Watch this video on how to properly shovel your driveway before the plow arrives.
- Give plows room to work
- Stay connected
Here are some resources for this winter. New this year, virginiadot.org/novaemergency has news releases, important messages, frequently asked questions and links to other resources, including: