RICHMOND, Virginia –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is ready for Old Man Winter when he decides to come calling.
Staffing, equipment and materials are in place for snow when it starts to fall.
“We prepare for winter year round,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “Our crews have the staff, materials and equipment in place to battle winter weather when it arrives.”
Snow removal resources:
- More than $210 million set aside for winter weather
- More than 2,500 VDOT crewmembers, in addition to contractors, available for snow removal statewide
- More than 12,300 pieces of snow-removal equipment, including trucks, loaders and motor graders
- More than 689,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and more than 1.6 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine
What’s interesting about snow removal:
Online snowplow tracker – If snow reaches two inches or more, VDOT activates an online neighborhood tracking map.
Most VDOT trucks are equipped with automatic vehicle location technology, and many of them can be monitored on the tracker during snow removal operations.
Making use of runoff – VDOT loads salt onto snow-removal trucks on a paved area called a mixing pad. Since that area is normally wet during the loading process, the runoff is directed either to impermeable ponds or underground tanks.
Many of VDOT’s salt facilities are reusing some of this water from the ponds or tanks to produce brine, a solution of salt and water, to turn an environmental challenge – disposing of that runoff – into something useful.
VDOT applies brine to roads before winter storms as conditions allow.
Brine can prevent frozen precipitation from bonding to the pavement, and it reduces the overall amount of salt used.
Brine is also more environmentally friendly than salt.