Road conditions improving across the Tri-Cities

Road conditions improve

We've been reporting some roads will remain slippery Thursday night from continuous snow fall across the Tri-Cities. Many are wondering when the roads will be clear.

Most roads in the Tri-Cities were covered Thursday morning after several inches of snow covered the roads, and the continuous snowfall throughout the day didn't help. "The men have been out all night long, since 4:00 [Wednesday] afternoon just pushing, going back over and over," says interim Sullivan County Highway Commissioner Bobbie Manning.

Manning tells us they have been using 35 pickup trucks and dump trucks, with two men in each unit, fighting the snow. "Knowing we were going to be out all night long, it's for safety to have another person there to help those backing up. Or in case they get in a ditch, they can generally shovel some salt and get themselves right on out," he explained.

Manning tells us they divide the more than 900 miles of county roads into four parts to make sure everything gets treated. "Each man in that section has his own little area routine. He'll get that, then he'll go back over it again," he said.

Across the state line in Virginia, Virginia Department of Transportation crews have been have been working around the clock trying to keep the roads clear. "We did some pre-treating on the interstates and primary roads. We haven't gotten to the secondary roads yet, because it continues to snow. Our priority is the interstate and the primary roads," says Michelle Earl with VDOT.

Earl tells us they have 750 pieces of equipment they can use across 12 counties when it snows. "We'll put stone down on some of the secondary roads for traction. We'll do salt on primaries it's just different things on different routes that have proven to be good methods."

Earl says when it comes to interstates that have three lanes, they work to clear two lanes first; they need three trucks running at the same time to clear all the lanes.

Here's the priority list for roads: interstates and highways first, then main streets, then finally side roads and neighborhoods. "Within 48 hours after we will have all the roads touched at least once. That's VDOT's goal," adds Earl.

Meanwhile, both the Sullivan County highway workers and VDOT tell us they will be out clearing the roads as long as they are needed.

Sullivan County highway workers and VDOT crews say if you see their crews out on the roads, pay extra attention; slow down and give them extra space to make sure everyone is safe.

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