CULPEPER â?? Driving conditions across central Virginia have deteriorated over the past several hours as freezing rain moved into the region, coating many roadways with a clear glaze of ice. The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising against driving overnight unless the trip is essential. Motorists should also assess how comfortable they are driving in icy conditions before beginning a trip.
The weather forecast calls for a mix of sleet, freezing rain and ice to continue to fall across the region until early Tuesday morning. That frozen precipitation combined with temperatures at or below freezing will create black ice and make driving extremely hazardous overnight.
VDOT crews are working around the clock to keep major highways passable. Plowing is not effective on the ice so plow operators are primarily spreading a mix of sand and salt to provide traction and help melt any frozen precipitation on the roads. Even after salt and sand is applied motorists should expect that roads will remain slick with ice in many places.
Road conditions are currently reported as follows:
Â· Interstate 64 and I-66 â?? Clear with some patches of black ice.
Â· Primary highways â?? Mostly clear of snow but there are numerous patches of black ice in the travel lanes as well as along the shoulders, on turn lanes and intersections.
Â· Secondary highways (numbered 600 and above) â?? Most have been plowed but many remain covered with packed snow and are extremely slick tonight.
Real-time road conditions and traffic camera feeds are online at 511Virginia.org. You can also call 511 for road condition information. Details about VDOTâ??s winter-weather preparations and response can be found at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.