HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Winter is here and the Virginia Department of Transportation says it’s ready.
The district’s estimated preseason snow-removal budget for the 20221-2022 season is $6.7 million.
In addition, members of VDOT Hampton Roads say they have more than 470 pieces of equipment available for snow and ice-control activities, including trucks with plows and salt spreaders, as well as front-end loaders and backhoes.
“We go through dry runs to make sure vehicles get inspected. The salt, sand spreaders get inspected. The loaders, all our different equipment, is inspected ready to go maintenance, greased, lubed,” explained William Collier, VDOT Hampton Roads District maintenance manager.
Materials and supplies currently in stock for snow and ice removal in Hampton Roads include:
- 25,511 tons of salt,
- 8,691 tons of sand,
- 168,400 gallons of salt brine.
- VDOT replenishes supplies as they are used throughout the winter.
“That’ll go through a lot of salt shakers,” Collier joked.
A topic that isn’t as much of a joke is the safety of drivers on his team. 10 On Your Side spoke with Collier about how drivers on the road can help out busy VDOT workers.
“The drivers have a lot that they’re doing,” he explained. “They’re paying attention to their plow, they’re paying attention to where their snow is going that they’re pushing. They’re paying attention to their spreader. We ask that if you come up on a VDOT truck or contractor truck involved in winter weather operations… give them a little more room. Give them a little more slack. They’re doing a job.”
A job that helps keep you and your family safe on the road. Collier says they’re working hard to do their part, but they need drivers to slow down to ensure safety for those around them.
“That’s our purpose,” said Collier. “To let people get where they want to go safely. Just because they’re going a certain speed now, it may not be safe if they hit an icy patch up the road.”
10 On Your Side also had a chance to talk about potential staffing impacts on the region. Collier assured us they’re well equipped to handle the average Hampton Roads winter, but VDOT is always looking for new crew members.
“We have had a higher vacancy rate than normal this year, just like a lot of companies,” he said. “We have enough resources now to handle the most regular storms that we get here. If we have, you know, two feet of snow… we’ll be calling in extra help.”
Before traveling VDOT advises residents to have a plan before driving. You also can download Virginia’s free 511 mobile app HERE or call 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).