VDOT Announces Winter Weather Plans for 2015-16

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Richmond Road in Norge (Nicole Trifone/WYDaily)
(File Photo)

The Virginia Department of Transportation is allocating fewer funds for snow events in Hampton Roads this year.

VDOT announced a $3 million budget for the upcoming 2015-16 snow season Monday, though the organization said more money is available if conditions warrant. The snow-removal budget is part of Hampton Roads’ $105 million annual maintenance budget.

Last year, VDOT initially allocated $6.4 million for snow removal, but ultimately spent $13.9 million after eight snow events affected the region last winter.

In a news release, VDOT District Administrator James Utterback said the Hampton Roads District is making plans for potential snowfall despite a mild fall with relatively warm temperatures.

“We will continue to dedicate whatever money and resources are necessary to make sure our roads are safe and drivable when winter arrives,” he said.

For 2015-16, VDOT has almost 450 pieces of equipment available for snow and ice-control activities. The available equipment includes trucks with plows and salt spreaders, as well as front end loaders and backhoes.

Additionally, VDOT has 25,000 tons of salt, 9,000 tons of sand, 1,400 tons of treated abrasives and 106,000 gallons of salt brine available to treat roads this winter.

In case of a winter weather event, crews will clear interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities first.

Secondary roads and subdivision streets will be treated if storms hits the area over multiple days, though priority will be given to high-traffic areas.