Area crews ready for wintry roads

WASHINGTON — Hoping to avoid icy and dangerous roads, crews across the region are preparing for the changing predictions of winter weather this weekend.

The Virginia Department of Transportation took advantage of fair midweek conditions to pretreat the roads with anti-icing materials in Northern Virginia.

As the forecast shows, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties are poised to get precipitation — which, combined with frigid temperatures, could create a mess on the roadways.

VDOT said in a news release that it treats interstate, primary and high-volume secondary roads, including ramps and bridges, which are prone to freezing.

D.C. crews, too, have been readying their routes and equipment for this weekend.

“We have been doing considerable work in the offseason to prepare,” said Chris Shorter, the director of the District’s Public Works.

“It’s still too early to make a call on what we’ll do for the Friday afternoon/Saturday morning inclement weather,” he said.

Crews pretreating the roads for potential icy conditions on Thursday morning, however, will only help the condition of roadways when the weekend comes.

The Maryland State Highway Administration said it is also ready for winter weather.

Spokeswoman Shantee Felix said the MSHA will be monitoring roads and responding as need be.

VDOT asks drivers to keep the forecast and road conditions in mind this weekend. Take it slow and make sure the gas tank is full in case you run into an unexpected delay.

Make sure to have these items in any vehicle traveling during a winter storm:

  • Water and food
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper/brush
  • Gloves and boots
  • Phone charger
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Ice melt/cat litter

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