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Virginia road crews ready storm defenses

While you prepare to meet the new year, the transportation agencies are preparing to meet a storm that cold bring, rain, ice and a little snow.

The Virginia Department of Transportation just announced that its crews are preparing for freezing rain forecast for early Thursday morning. They are using liquid magnesium chloride to pre-treat trouble spots on interstates 66, 95, 395, and 495. That's now a standard procedure. Trouble spots include bridges and ramps that may freeze before other road surfaces. Among these areas are the Springfield interchange and the Capital Beltway interchange at Route 1.

Other major roads, such as the Fairfax County Parkway and Routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50 and 123, are being pre-treated with salt brine.

At midnight, VDOT says, about 400 trucks will begin patrolling roads throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, monitoring conditions and treating areas that may refreeze overnight.

I've done several postings today about various preparations. It's not panic time. Our Capital Weather Gang calls this a "nuisance" storm. But the timing is a bit delicate because of celebrations and holiday travel. While the focus of the road preparations is no Thursday morning ice, please continue to be careful driving on New Year's Eve and Friday morning, because this stuff could refreeze as temperatures drop again.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 30, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, VDOT, Virginia Department of Transportation, travel tips  
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Next: Good advice on driving in icy weather

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