FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) - Virginia Department of Transportation workers are preparing thousands of trucks to clear nearly 18,000 miles of roadway in Northern Virginia. At 4 am Wednesday, 4,000 trucks will be ready to roll, stationed either along highways, or in subdivisions. VDOT says it has a plan for both highways and subdivisions, with crews beginning simultaneously on the most heavily used roads first.
Once two inches have fallen, major routes are treated with chemicals and plowed. In subdivisions and other low-volume roads, hills and other trouble spots are treated with sand and plowed when two inches have accumulated. Click here for more information on northern Virginia's snow removal program, and report road problems to 1-800-FOR-ROAD or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VDOT spokesperson Joan Morris says because the forecast calls for rain first, they will not be pre-treating roads with brine that helps keep ice and snow from sticking because it would all just wash away first.
Something else that wasn't around during the last big snow storm: the I- 495 Express Lanes, which are lined with the white plastic lane separators. They could easily be demolished by plow trucks. But Morris said VDOT has contracted with four "Flusher" trucks that are designed to get the show out in between the separators.
It's going to be a mess out there tomorrow and V-Dot is asking drivers to stay home and let the ploughs do their work. If you must go work, consider Metro Rail ... which says it can operate on a normal schedule with up to six inches of snowfall.
However, up to eight inches the third electrified rail can become snow impacted, aboveground tracks may ice over, and rail yards can become impassable.
VDOT also has a new web tool called the snowplow-tracker map, which is activated once more than two inches of snow has fallen, is at http://novasnowplowing.virginia.gov/.
It's designed to give residents information about the plowing of their neighborhoods. You can find the web tool on VDOT's website, and then by plugging in your own address. According to Morris, it will tell you three things:
1. Whether your neighborhood has been ploughed
2. Whether ploughs are in your neighborhood
3. Whether your neighborhood has already been ploughed.
A video on how to use the website is available on VDOT's YouTube site at http://youtu.be/HMRaItZLgyo.
VDOT will get the information from the truck drivers who will be armed with maps, (not electronic) and will deliver the information back to the command post as soon as possible.