Friday, March 6, 2015

VDOT Asks Motorists to Continue to Stay Off Roads Until Afternoon

Continue to delay trips, at least until the afternoon today, says the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), so that crews can continue to treat icy conditions on all roadways in northern Virginia.

Even recently treated interstates and roads that appear to be bare pavement are refreezing quickly with extremely low pavement temperatures. 

Crews continue to treat road with mixes of salt, sand and liquid magnesium chloride, however these chemicals are much less effective and work more slowly on road surfaces below 20 degrees. With pavement temperatures forecasted to remain well below freezing, ice will continue to be a concern throughout the day.

For those who must be on the roads:

  • Delay trips at least until the afternoon, if possible.
  • Use extreme caution, increase following distance and do not brake quickly. Many vehicles have been observed traveling at dangerous speeds for road conditions.
  • Roads that appear clear are likely to have many locations covered with black ice.
  • Clean all snow from mirrors and your vehicle.
  • Watch carefully for pedestrians walking alongside roadways.


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VDOT Encourages Drives to Delay Commute this Morning

Leftover snow and ice remain hazards for drivers across the region this morning, advises the Virginia Department of Transportation. Drivers are asked to delay trips until daylight allows better visibility and temperatures start to rise. If drivers must be out, continue to use extreme caution as road conditions will vary widely across the area while crews are still working.

Overnight, crews made significant progress plowing interstates, main roads and neighborhoods. Today, crews continue working on all roads and later today will focus on secondary roads and neighborhood streets that still need attention.
What drivers should know this morning:
  • Interstate and primary road conditions vary along the corridors and all areas may have slush or ice patches. I-95 and I-495 are mostly clear, and I-66 still has significant patches of slush inside the Beltway. Secondary roads should have a path made by at least one plow pass but may still be icy or snow-packed.
  • The eastbound I-66 X lanes will be open for the morning rush hour. Normal HOV rule are in effect on I-66, I-395 and the Dulles Toll Road.
  • Pavement temperatures remain well below freezing all day today, and drivers can continue to expect icy patches. Even roads that appear to be bare pavement may have black ice.
 
In neighborhoods:
  • Check trucks and status of crews plowing 16,000 northern Virginia neighborhood streets at www.vdotplows.org
  • Neighborhoods will have an eight- to ten-foot path but not bare pavement. Expect snow-packed paths or patches where plows cannot scrape the frozen layer.
  • Hills, curves and intersections will be sanded for traction.
  • Continue to park in driveways or on the odd-numbered side of the street to give plows room to pass.
  • If shoveling driveways, leave the last few feet at the curb as the plow will push some snow back.

 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Emergency for Town of Leesburg

As of 6:55 a.m. this morning, Thursday, March 5, the Town of Leesburg has declared a Snow Emergency.

Snow Emergency Routes need to remain cleared and residents are asked to travel only when necessary and to use caution.


 
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

VDOT Crews Staging by Noon to Prep for Difficult Afternoon Commute

Expect this afternoon's commute to be long and difficult says the Virginia Department of Transportation, with snow, sleet and freezing rain expected to hit Northern Virginia right at rush hour, and many drivers expected to leave work or school early.
 
VDOT reports that by noon today, more than 900 trucks will be staged on interstates and major roads in Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties.
 
Pre-treatment
VDOT says that their crews spent yesterday pre-treating major roads and trouble spots in Northern Virginia and will finish up early this morning.
 
On interstates 66, 95, 395, and 495 — including bridges and ramps prone to freezing such as the Springfield interchange, I-66 at Route 29 and the Capital Beltway interchange at Route 1 — crews use liquid magnesium chloride. Problem spots on other major roads, such as the Fairfax County Parkway and routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50 and 123, are pre-treated with brine
.


 
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

State Corporation Commission Approves Dulles Greenway Toll Increase

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved a 2.8 percent increase in the tolls charged for traveling the Dulles Greenway, a 14-mile roadway that runs between Washington Dulles International Airport and Leesburg.

For a two-axle vehicle, the increase equates to 10 cents, from $4.20 to $4.30. During peak morning and afternoon weekday periods, the increase is 10 cents, from $5.10 to $5.20.

Virginia law states that the SCC shall approve a toll increase request based upon the Consumer Price Index plus one percent (Virginia Code Section § 56-542 I).

Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II), the operator of the Dulles Greenway, filed its application on December 30, 2014.

Case Number PUE-2014-00129 - Application of Toll Road Investors Partnership II, L.P.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

VDOT Crews Prepping for More Snow This Weekend

Virginia Department of Transportation crews will begin reporting overnight tonight for a wide range of wintry weather forecasted in Northern Virginia over the next 24 hours.  

 

Crews will report to local headquarters in Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties beginning at midnight tonight. By noon Saturday, more than 1,400 trucks will be deployed along interstates, main roads and neighborhood streets to treat and plow if necessary. VDOT is closely monitoring the changing forecast to adjust plans or increase equipment as needed.

 

While temperatures have not been favorable to pre-treat, residual salt remains on many roads where crews have treated roads throughout the week.


VDOT asks drivers to monitor the forecast closely and to delay trips during heavy snow or sleet Saturday. Use extreme caution if driving as road conditions may change rapidly.

 
 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Motorists on Route 15 and Route 50 Reminded "It’s Not a Race" -- Create Space

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police teamed up Feb. 8, in a campaign to curb aggressive and impaired driving in the area of Route 15 and Route 50 in Loudoun County. 

 

During the weeklong traffic safety enforcement effort, deputies and troopers cited 134 drivers for speeding and another 15 drivers for reckless driving along the two highway corridors. According to the Virginia State Police, the average speed of violators ticketed by a trooper was 70 mph (all in posted 55 mph zones). In addition, one summons for a child restraint violation and one summons for a seatbelt violation were issued. Fourteen equipment violations were also cited. 

      

The campaign was to address safety concerns in this corridor for motorists using Route 15 and Route 50. In recent years the corridor has been impacted by serious crashes from drivers following too close, as well as distracted and impaired drivers. 

      

"The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office supports initiatives in compliance with traffic laws through education and enforcement," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. "This joint program with the Virginia State Police helped address traffic safety concerns to keep our roadways safe," Sheriff Chapman added.  

      

As part of the educational component of the campaign, message boards were placed in the area leading up to the enforcement effort advising drivers 'It's Not a Race- Create Space' and that they are entering an 'Aggressive Driving Enforcement Zone'. 

      

First Sergeant Alvin Blankenship, Virginia State Police Area Office Commander for Loudoun County, said, "This cooperative traffic safety effort was not about how many tickets we could write, but instead about bringing the importance of traffic safety to the forefront of folks' attention. We need drivers to slow down and make responsible driving a priority, particularly if we want these major highway corridors to be safer for all motorists. Simply drive to save lives."

 

Motorists are reminded that if you see a reckless or possibly impaired driver to call the Loudoun County non-emergency line at 703-777-1021 or dial 9-1-1. To reach the Virginia State Police, dial #77 on a cellphone.


 
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow Squalls Could Make Afternoon Commute Difficult

The Virginia Department of Transportation is reporting that motorists will need to use extreme caution this afternoon when snow squalls with heavy bands of snow could quickly cover roads, reduce visibility and make driving treacherous.

 

At noon today, VDOT will mobilize 700 trucks in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia in anticipation of the additional layer of precipitation that will freeze.

 

Extremely low temperatures tonight and the remainder of the week will continue to pose challenges with refreeze. Some crews will remain on duty overnight to treat with problem spots.



 
 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Drivers Asked to Delay Trips This Morning

Drivers are urged to delay travel today until at least 10 a.m., as Virginia Department of Transportation crews continue working to clear and treat roads in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties.

 

Interstates and major primaries are passable with extreme caution. Other roads were also plowed continuously overnight but still have a layer of snow and ice.

 

What drivers should know today:

  • HOV restrictions are lifted on I-66, I-395 and the Dulles Toll Road. HOV-3 requirements still apply on the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.
  • Eastbound I-66 X lanes will be unavailable for the morning rush hour, as crews continue to clear shoulders.
  • Crews continue to clear interstates, major roads and neighborhood streets concurrently. Check www.vdotplows.org to see the status of plowing in neighborhoods.
  • If you can, park in your driveway or on the odd-numbered side of the street to allow plows room to pass.
  • After a plow has passed, roads will be passable, but will not be bare pavement and may remain snow-packed.
  • Stay off the roads or delay trips to allow crews time to safely treat the roads.