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Posted January 5, 2009 | comments Leave a comment

VDOT prepares for icy roads

(From a press release) STAUNTON - Icy precipitation is expected in the Shenandoah Valley from late Monday night to early Wednesday morning. Virginia Department of Transportation crews are pre-treating roads with an anti-icing agent in certain areas of Augusta County.

This winter VDOT has expanded the use of the latest anti-icing techniques. VDOT will use anti-icing chemicals including salt brine, magnesium-chloride and calcium-chloride around the state and, with success, will expand the program in future winter seasons. This year, VDOT's Staunton District will be pre-treating roads in Augusta and Frederick counties.

Anti-icing is the application of chemicals to roads before a snow-pavement bond occurs. Anti-icing emphasizes prevention rather than reaction. Pre-treatment is a form of anti-icing where chemicals are applied to the road up to 48 hours before a snow storm to prevent a bond from forming between the roadway and snow and ice when the storm starts.

Augusta County will begin pre-treating the following roads today: Route 11 from Rockingham County to Rockbridge County lines (not including Staunton City Limits); Route 262, from Route 11 to I-81; and Route 250, from Nelson County line to Route 151 at the bottom of Afton Mountain.

Frederick County does not yet have supplies for pre-treating roads. Supplies are expected to be received later in January. Future pre-treatments could occur on Route 50, Route 522, Route 37, Route 11, and Route 277 if winter weather is anticipated.

Motorists are reminded that ice and freezing rain conditions can still produce hazardous driving conditions, even when roads are treated. During hazardous winter weather people should not drive unless absolutely necessary. People who are driving in winter road conditions should use extra caution particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-800-578-4111. (TTY/TDD users, call 711). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at 511Virginia.org.

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