Road crews focus on salting back-roads after icy mess

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - It's been a rough 24-hours for crews clearing ice, snow, and slick spots in our region after Friday's conditions. While the roads are better Saturday, VDOT crews are still out there salting.

Traffic is back to normal on Interstate 81, but there are still a few traces from Friday's icy mess. "Salt doesn't really have any affect on it because the ground is so cold," said Randy Felty with Virginia Department of Transportation.

To solve this problem, crews with VDOT have been mixing salt with rocks to give drivers more traction. News 5 learned road crews have used about 900-tons of salt mix in the last 24-hours and they're still working 12-hour shifts. "Sending motor graters to take ice off, and especially in shady spots and a lot of hills," added Felty.

To see just how bad some of the roads are still, News 5 rode along with driver Mitchell Reedy. He says back-roads are the worst right now and that's why crews will spend the weekend getting rid of icy conditions. But there is some help from mother nature, "The sun will probably melt the snow and ice quicker than salt will."

We learned the sun reactivates the salt and chloride materials, it also heats up the stone to help ice melt. Even thought he roads are getting clear, road crews warn there may still be slick spots and patches of black ice. "Just slow down, be thinking what if that's slick," added Felty.

News 5 checked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and learned road crews are on stand-by this weekend in case they are needed.

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