It’s taken nigh onto four months for the Virginia Department of Transportation to finally clear streets and interstates of the aftermath of January snowstorms that whipped winds and dropped heavy, wet snow as well as trees and power lines across the region.
Contractors and crews with VDOT spent the last few months cutting, lifting, stacking, packing and trucking close to a million cubic yards of debris left by the storm that dropped more than a thousand trees onto Interstate 64 between Albemarle and Goochland counties.
“The Virginia Department of Transportation reports Interstate 64 is clear of an unprecedented amount of woody debris left behind from the Jan. 3 snowstorm,” Sharon Ketcham, VDOT spokeswoman said Tuesday. “But the work isn’t finished. Crews continue to clear the roadsides of other primary and secondary highways.”
Ketcham said crews will move onto other state-maintained roads to clear the remaining rubbish, rubble and refuse that accumulated in the storms’ wake.
“Moving forward this week, contract crews will begin to clear the U.S. 250 from Charlottesville to Crozet, simultaneously working on other primary and secondary routes, as well as neighborhood streets in Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna, Orange, and Fauquier counties,” she said.
Ketcham said crews hauled off more than 800,000 cubic yards of trees, branches, and other brush that buckled under the snow. That’s 17,698 truckloads.
VDOT is estimating that, after secondary roads and U.S. 250 are cleared of wood waste stacked to the roadside after the snows, the final amount of collected debris will likely exceed a million cubic yards.
“The trucks and trailers used to clear the debris can each hold about 45 cubic yards of waste,” she said. “The entire operation could top more than 22,000 loads to clear all roadways in the [local] district.”
VDOT figures show crews have cleared 215,000 cubic yards from Interstate 64, including 158,000 which came from Albemarle County and 300,000 cleared in Louisa County. .
The derecho that swept across Virginia in 2012 downed about 120,000 cubic yards of debris.
The crews, including VDOT maintenance teams, are hoping to have the clean-up finished by June 1.