VDOT prepares for “worst case-scenario” after 2022 beltway backup

Julia Eisen – WMAL News | January 4, 2024

This week marks two years since the epic backup on I-95 that left some Virginians stranded on the Beltway for 24 hours.

“We did have an intense rate of snowfall,” Kelly Hannon, Virginia Department of Transportation Communications Manager, told WMAL News. “It did lead to a number of crashes that did block travel lanes along the interstate.”

Virginia State Police reported at least 559 crashes and over 500 disabled or stuck vehicles on January 3, 2022.

Now that incident acts as a guide to preparing for future storms, according to VDOT.

“Since that 2022 storm we prepare for events to be more severe than forecasted,” Hannon said.

VDOT has strengthened crews and internal communications to help and inform drivers along the roadways.

“We’re looking at that 10 percent chance or less that we’ll get some heavy accumulation of snow or ice, so that we have our equipment and staff mobilized for that worst-case scenario,” Hannon explained.

Leading up into some possible wintry mix this weekend, VDOT is salting roads through the latter half of the week to prepare for early snow on Saturday morning.

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