Road update: VDOT shifts resources to secondary streets

snowflake decoration on black background
snowflake decoration on black background

4 p.m. update from VDOT: Crews will continue 24-hour effort to remove substantial accumulations of snow

CULPEPER — Virginia Department of Transportation crews, assisted by contract equipment and operators, are working across Central Virginia to clear secondary roads of substantial accumulations of snow. That work is anticipated to continue around the clock for the next several days.

Interstate and primary highways across the region are mostly clear of snow, but some primary roads to the north along the Blue Ridge Mountains are still snow-covered but passable. VDOT continues to advise against non-essential travel, but if you must be out, understand the risks and drive with extreme caution. Temperatures will fall well below freezing overnight and icy conditions are likely even on roads that have been cleared of snow today.

Drivers should be alert for pedestrians walking in roads, especially in more urban areas. Most sidewalks are blocked with deep piles of snow and pedestrians are walking in the roadway. Another hazard is limited sight distance and obstructed views at intersections and entrances due to the high piles of snow on the shoulders and medians.

VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after snowfall ends. However, cleanup from this storm is extensive and will require use of specialized equipment to remove up to 30 inches of accumulated snow, plus large snow drifts. The public should expect that plows will not reach all secondary roads today. Even after plowing, snow and ice will linger on the surface of these roads due to refreezing overnight.

Residents living on some secondary roads, especially those in rural areas or within neighborhoods should expect that plows may not reach them for another 24 to 48 hours and possibly longer.

What residents should know

  • Plows will provide a path through neighborhoods that is drivable with caution for an average passenger vehicle. The path will not be curb-to-curb or bare pavement, and may remain uneven and rutted, especially with refreezing overnight.
  • Chemicals are not typically used in subdivisions, but crews will sand hills, curves and intersections as needed to provide traction.
  • In many neighborhoods, front-end loaders and motor graders will be required to move snow where there is not enough room to push.
  • Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles onto driveways, but in an extreme storm that can be an unintended consequence of making roads passable.
  • To give crews a chance to finish their plow assignments, VDOT asks that residents wait 48 hours after the storm is over before reporting “missed” roads.

Stay abreast of road conditions by calling 511 or visiting Additional information about VDOT’s winter-weather preparations and response can be found at

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks to VDOT contracted plows for starting early in the Brookfield Community in Fairfax County. However, the last truck that came through left a wall of snow short of driveways that prevents all residents from getting out of north Gumwood Court. We have a neighbor who has lung cancer and was going for treatments – he is unable to get out of his driveway.

    All our driveways are clear and we have paths to our mailboxes, but I would appreciate a plow to finish clearing a pathway for cars. I’m far too old to get out with a shovel and the snow accumulation is also too much for my neighbor’s snow blower.

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