No one left stranded on I-95, Virginia Dept.

The Virginia Department of Transportation anticipates that Interstate 95 will be cleared of vehicles sometime today, prior to tomorrow’s rush hour, according to District Engineer Marcy Parker of the Virginia Department of Transportation in the Fredericksburg District.

She said during a telephone media briefing, Parker is leading VDOT’s efforts to clear the interstate.

Parker said it became clear to officials around 4 a.m. Tuesday that the only way to clear the stranded vehicles would be to close the interstate. He said there was up to four inches of snow under some vehicles.

“While we were able to clear many different accidents and trucks and a little bit of traffic, we do know that there were still a huge amount of vehicles that were stalled for many, many hours, which would have taken us to those people. Seems completely unacceptable,” Parker said.

Parker said he did not consider closing I-95 before the storm. The VDOT was prepared, but snow was higher than they expected and fell at a harder rate than expected, she said. When more than an inch falls in an hour, it’s difficult to move their trucks around fast enough, she said.

Parker said the VDOT was mobilizing on Sundays to try and bring the equipment, with employees working 12-hour shifts past midnight.

Virginia agencies have moved a “good amount of traffic” off I-95 on Tuesday and say the process is going faster than expected, she said.

Parker said the roads were not pre-treated because the season started with rain and it just washed away the treatment.

After clearing the roads, Parker said he would look into what happened and make adjustments to future plans.

Corinne Geller, director of public relations for the Virginia State Police, said her agency immediately began planning in anticipation of the winter storm by increasing troop shifts.

Geller said the VSP first received a call around 8:20 a.m. on Monday about a jackknife tractor-trailer causing a chain reaction of vehicles on I-95.

Geller said no accidents had been reported, just vehicles were stuck or disabled, and there were no traffic fatalities or injuries.

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