The closed section of I-95 in Virginia will reopen by emergency time Wednesday morning, according to officials.
Are you or someone you know stuck on I-95? Tell us about your experiences on WTOP.
Interstate 95 in Virginia reopened fully Tuesday night after more than a day of blockage, causing disaster for thousands of passengers stranded on the road for hours.
Clean the roads, get rid of motorists, The north and south lanes of Interstate 95 were closed to exit 152 (Dumfries Road) and exit 104 (Carmel Church). Staff continued to work to remove parked trucks and remove icing and snow on the roads. Motorists were encouraged to avoid the area or use local routes to reach their destination.
I-95 will remain open most days after closing for emergency operations. All disabled vehicles have been removed between states. pic.twitter.com/1j0nreDIrR
– VDOT Friedrichsburg (VaDOTFRED) January 5, 2022
Initially, officials expected the closed section of I-95 to reopen by emergency time Wednesday morning, with no traffic-related injuries or deaths as a result of the strike, and emergency personnel were able to move all disabled vehicles out of the state to reopen roads by Tuesday evening.
In a tweet, the Governor of Virginia. Ralph Northm said drivers should stay away from roads even if the I-95 reopens Travel conditions are dangerous Via the districts of Stafford, Spotsylvania and Caroline.
Travelers looking for alternatives from I-95 have also seen an increase in traffic delays on Route 1 between Utbridge and Fredericksburg, says Dave Tildin at the WTOP Traffic Center.
The Transport Center said that we will continue to see Serious sound delays US-1 in both directions near Russell Rd and Marine Corps Base Quantico. As many disabled vehicles are reported, drivers are advised to proceed with caution. All routes north of US-1 on I-495 / Capitol Beltway were blocked by the crash.
Prevent severe road conditions
In a phone call with reporters, Northam said if it rained before the blizzard on Monday morning, the chemicals or salts used to pre-clean the roads would have been washed away.
“At first it rained for us, which meant we could not clear enough roads in advance. Then we had muddy snow, which fell much faster than our snow plows could move,” Northam said. “Then, as night fell, the temperature dropped below freezing. Together they created the perfect storm for what happened in I-95.
In addition to the preliminary conditions, several tractor-trailers on the highway further complicated the cleaning efforts.
“When that happens, it’s going to create a mess and it will take time to clean up even if it’s a winter storm or a sunny day,” Northam said.
In response to questions as to why the Virginia National Guard was not called to support the state respondents, Northam said no requests were made to guards from areas on I-95. He said deploying guards would not have been an “immediate solution” to the crisis.
“Remember that our guards have day jobs. In fact, you all remember last January 6th, we sent the National Guard to help Capitol after the uprising, but they were only able to come the next day.
Currently, Northam said the Virginia National Guard is ready, but the state and local police, in addition to other respondents, said, “we have the resources and personnel we need.”
Earlier, North said food and heating shelters were being set up for drivers.
“We don’t need more people on the highways, we need to remove the highway,” the governor said. “Therefore, I urge people to stay away from our roads until we can clarify them.”
Why the highway was closed
In the update, Virginia Transportation Commissioner Steve Brich said Monday night traffic was moving slowly, but the rapidly declining temperatures had already frozen the snow that had fallen. As a result, motorists were in great trouble on Tuesday morning, causing a dangerous situation.
Brich said authorities decided to close I-95 around 3 a.m. Tuesday. He said the time between making that decision and closing the highway at 8 a.m. was needed to spread the message and create alternatives that would work for motorists.
“It includes media announcements … across the state and in our neighboring states,” Brich said. “This allowed for the creation of a final diversion program that would take people and motorists between the states and redirect them to the south or north, ensuring that they had as many convenient ways as possible to stay.”
Brich said emergency and cleaning teams are working to reopen the highway to make sure stranded motorists get to where they need to be.
“We now have 52 snowblows, including spreaders, nine motor graders and 16 wrecks at milestones 110 to 143, working actively in north and south directions.”
According to Bric, all motorists were evacuated from the closed area of I-95, but 50-60 more vehicles were abandoned on the highway.
The conditions of many motorists trapped in I-95 are dire.
Hundreds of vehicles came to a standstill, some shut down their engines for nearly 24 hours in cold weather and ran out of fuel, many without food or water.
During a situation update Tuesday, Margie Parker, district engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation, said: “We know that many vehicles are stuck for hours, which is completely unacceptable.
Getting all motorists off the highway is a top priority, so “we can send plows and motor graders to cut down the frozen snow and ice on the road,” Parker said.
He said the biggest obstacle to operations was the depletion of fuel when vehicles, including large tractor-trailers, were stuck on the highway.
“They get stuck in the snow or in the ditch, so a tow truck – a lot of tow trucks – is needed to get those vehicles out,” Parker said.
For those stranded after being dragged off the highway, Parker said state and local police are “trying to help by providing them with water, fuel or blankets and letting them know where they can go.” Or open at the end of the day.
Parker said clearing and treating areas between states and removing fallen trees and snow on exit lanes and surrounding areas is a top priority.
As of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Virginia State Police were responding to 1,015 traffic accidents related to the recent winter weather. That number has not been 1-95 incidents since the backup began, he said Corinne Keller, public relations manager for the Virginia State Police.
Throughout Monday morning, VDOT-guided vehicles were stopped for nearby transfers to access alternate routes between states. WTOP’s Neal Augenstein has announced that stranded drivers will be heading south on exit 234 / Dumfries Road at Exit 152, the slowest exit from I-95.
WTOP Transport Correspondent Dave Tildin called the crisis a “bad situation.”
“I could see some people leaving their vehicles on snow-covered lanes and walking to unknown areas on I-95,” Tildin said. “Some callers were scared to cry. Being immobile on a highway for hours without knowing how long it will last is psychologically very painful.
The day before
Earlier on Tuesday, he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat North Korea’s response.
Northam said Tuesday morning that the WTOP location has all the resources in the I-95 closure.
WTOP’s Neil Argenstein reports I-95 south near Dumfries Road
Passengers stranded on I-95 ran out of gas with children and pets in their car. With no bathrooms nearby and the temperature never dropped below 20, drivers were forced to spend the night on the highway.
“I have to take my dad to an essential operation in Massachusetts at 7:30 am tomorrow,” one driver wrote to the WTOP. Another: “We left Gaithersburg at 4:50 am to attend my father’s funeral in Hampton. We don’t seem to be going to do that. ”
In the last few minutes emergency vehicles went up to the express lanes. Team members walked through the middle of the grass and touched the base of some stranded drivers. Maybe see if emergency help is needed. From my point of view no one took it WTOP Traffic WTOP Traffic pic.twitter.com/EhZhqRF6cz
– Neil Agenstein (ugAugensteinWTOP) Jan. 4, 2022
“We parked here five hours south of Quantico,” said Clary Hughes, who traveled on I-95. “We have not seen any trucks carrying tow trucks, broken vehicles, or any police trying to open the roads,” he said. This is a parking lot … this is horrible.
NBC News reporter Josh Lederman was caught in a traffic jam about half an hour south of the district on Monday afternoon. Until dawn on Tuesday, he had not yet moved. In A Twitter thread, Lederman said people take exercise breaks and walk their dogs between wrecked vehicles.
Like thousands of people, Lederman – along with his dog Jonas – watched tense fuel measurements between states on cold nights, going for hours without seeing police or plows. Leatherman melted the ice for his dog to drink.
“I have a little glue and a third of a bottle of water. If things get too bad, my dog has got food, but I hope it’s not coming, ”Lederman told the WTOP over the phone. “If you are in an emergency right now, no one can approach you for medicine or anything else. The people here are trapped.
Its. Tim Cain, D-W., Has tweeted that On Tuesday, he too was stranded on the highway to Washington: “I started my regular 2-hour trip to DC at 1pm yesterday. Nineteen hours later, I was still not near the Capitol.
Representative of Virginia. Abigail Spannberger He said everything that happened during the winter storm should be thoroughly investigated Thus some were trapped for more than 24 hours.
WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher, Joshua Barlow, Matt Small, Ivy Lyons, Jose Umana and Dick Uliano contributed to the report.
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