VDOT Preparing to Clear Roads for Drivers

Lynchburg, VA- A storm system could bring freezing rain and sleet early Tuesday, and it could make for a messy and dangerous morning commute.

Things were pretty quiet at the Lynchburg VDOT staging grounds Monday because when a storm involves rain, it basically washes away any chance crews have of getting a head start.

"We're planning on our crews coming, skeleton crews coming in around midnight. Those crews will be prepared to take whatever steps necessary to deal with any icing we might have," said Paula Jones, the VDOT spokesperson for the Lynchburg District.

Jones says crews are responsible for clearing highways and roads in 10 counties around Lynchburg. But when bad weather hits, their focus becomes primary routes like 501, 460 and 29, along with secondary routes like Timberlake and Leesville Roads.

"If you have to drive, if you can stick with the major roadways they would be safer, and that's where we will deal with them at first," said Jones.

Lynchburg district crews are facing a disadvantage against this oncoming storm though. Other districts like Salem are expecting snow, and have already pre-treated more than 150 miles of their territory. But crews around the Hill City have to just sit and wait.

"We cannot put down brine in advance of the storm because we are expecting it to start out as rain, so that would just wash everything off," said Jones.

But, Jones says if the roads do get bad, they'll be ready.

"If we get any accumulation of any icing, of any ice conditions, we'll start putting down abrasives to provide good traction for motorists," she said.

Jones says she expects road conditions around Lynchburg won't be too much of an issue for drivers Tuesday morning. She says temperatures have been mild enough, and roads are warm enough to keep anything from sticking.