WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Department of Transportation

West Virginia Division of Highways ramping up preparations for weekend weather



West Virginia Division of Highways snowplow crews are ramping up preparations for winter weather expected over the coming weekend.
The National Weather Service has put the state of West Virginia under a winter weather watch from Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, through Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Forecasters predict at least four inches of snow for the Mountain State, with 10 inches possible in part of the state.
But Snow Removal and Ice Control (SRIC) crews are getting ready to weather the storm and work around the to keep the state’s interstates and highways clear.
Joe Pack, P.E., Deputy State Highway Engineer for Division Operations, said the state’s 10 highway districts have 1,100 snowplows of various sizes. Some are dedicated to keeping the state’s interstates clear, while others cover US highways, state routes and secondary roads. Another 41 snowplows are responsible for snow and ice removal on the West Virginia Turnpike. JOURNALISTS: For an interview with Joe Pack, click here. For B-roll video of snowplows, click here.
The Division of Highways also has a stockpile of 180,000 tons of salt to treat roads.
The West Virginia Division of Highways urges motorists to be careful in winter driving conditions. Here are some winter driving recommendations:
  • Avoid traveling, if possible, until WVDOH crews have time to treat and clear the roads.
  • Give WVDOH crews plenty of room to work - do not crowd or pass plows. If plows are working in tandem, do not pass between the plows.
  • Given the hilly/mountainous terrain in WV, it is very important to drive slowly and increase following distance between vehicles.
For those who cannot delay travel until the roads are clear:
  • Keep an emergency kit with food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, an ice scraper, and blankets in your vehicle.
  • Tires should have excellent tread and be properly inflated.
  • Fill your gas tank.
  • Pull off the road to a safe location if you cannot travel so WVDOH crews can continue to treat and clear the roads.
In the mountains, the Northern Panhandle and the Eastern Panhandle, SRIC crews have a lot of experience with snow and ice.
“We’ll have all hands on deck in the Northern Panhandle,” said District 6 Engineer Tony Clark, P.E.

In the Eastern Panhandle, SRIC crews began pre-treating roadways with brine on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, and intended to keep pre-treating through the day on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, said District 5 Maintenance Engineer Travis Ray, P.E. Pre-treating roadways makes it harder for snow and ice to stick to the roads, and makes it easier to remove the snow and ice once it’s down.
The Eastern Panhandle  was also moving extra SRIC crews to the heavily traveled interstates and other high priority roads.

Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Tucker counties include some of West Virginia’s most mountainous terrain. “If we have what we consider a normal year, you won’t see the ground for a couple of months,” said District 8 Maintenance Engineer Adam Helmick, P.E.
SRIC crews in the mountains began pre-treating roads on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Parts of Pocahontas and neighboring counties were expecting up to 20 inches of snow in the coming days.
In the mountains and other parts of West Virginia that typically see a lot of snow, SRIC crews have heavy-duty road graders in addition to their fleets of snowplows to aid clearing snow and ice. Helmick has about a dozen graders in the area.