VDOT is focusing on a refreeze tonight, Lynchburg crews out in force

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Driving today you didn't see a lot of snow sticking to the roads, but we did see slush. Because everything is wet, crews are battling against a potential refreeze overnight.

The snow may have stopped, but at VDOT's Timberlake Headquarters, the work is far from over. It's the nature of the job.

“Long hours and putting up with a lot of traffic,” said Allen Crouch, a Supervisor at VDOT when asked what the snow means for him.

The crews switched out at 8 p.m. and will work through 8 a.m. The day crew wraps up their shift by getting things ready for the night crew.

“The guys when they come in for night shift, they can just get in the truck and go and handle the refreeze if it happens sooner rather than later,” said John Mason, the Superintendent of VDOT Timberlake.

Everything the night crew does revolves around that refreeze. The first stop is the chemical bin. Salt lives on one side, the other side is a mix of sand and salt. That’s what the crews are using tonight. The sand helps tires grip the road.

Each truck gets loaded up with a few tons of abrasives.

The workers spend the night checking road temperatures for the perfect time to lay them down. It's important that the abrasives are in place when the temperature drops, especially for the morning commute.

“Your worst time is daybreak…right when the sun comes up,” said Crouch. “6 a.m. when everybody wants to go to work. That's your most crucial time.”

As the trucks hit the road with the refreeze in mind, they know what's at stake.

“They're very dangerous, because it's hard to see. You got the black ice and when you come up on it, you don't know until you're scooting across the road,” said Mason. “Once you start it's hard to stop.”

VDOT Timberlake has 12 dump trucks out tonight and 3 contracted trucks. While they are waiting for the road temperature to drop, they drive around looking for other issues on the roads.