Road crews patrol, monitor for black ice

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by Brian Farrell

WVEC.com

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 5:58 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 14 at 7:18 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- City, county, and state crews spent Monday night into Tuesday making sure the chance for black ice is slim to none, paying close attention to bridges and overpasses.

The City of Virginia Beach has four trucks that continue the salt-and-sand treatment that took place throughout the daylight hours Monday as snow fell, roads became wet, and temperatures started to drop.

"It will be the back streets, the low-lying areas that we have to be concerned about," explains spokesman Drew Lankford, referring to spots where freezing could occur because of remaining moisture.

He explains that relatively mild temperatures during the weekend helped keep roads from icing up a lot after the snow Monday.

"Another factor that worked in our favor was it stopped enough in time for the rush hour traffic," says Lankford. "'lot of the cars, the tires from the cars and trucks on the road, did absorb a fair amount of the moisture which lessens the chance of too much black ice."

Lankford tells 13News the only real problem that came because of black ice Monday was on the Pungo Ferry Bridge at about 5:00 p.m. A motorcyclist hit a slick patch and skidded to a crash. The City closed the bridge for about an hour, allowing workers to salt and sand it. The motorcyclist wasn't hurt seriously.

Rennee Townsend, a driving instructor at Phyllis Foster Driving School in Suffolk says when the threat of black ice exists, braking and acceleration are drivers' worst enemies.

"You hit the black ice, you want to stay off the accelerator, decelerate, stay off the brake," offers Townsend who says a driver who loses control needs to steer in the direction the car is moving.

"Skidding to the right, you turn it to the right, and, then, look and steer where you want your vehicle to go and, and be ready to turn one-eighth of a steer right back in the opposite direction so your vehicle can balance out," Townsend explains.

 

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