WASHINGTON - It was gridlock on the roads in the D.C. area Wednesday night as many who made the commute into and out of the city encountered heavy backups as road crews continued their work to remove snow still piled on the roads.
We heard from many angry drivers on the phone and on social media who are upset that the city and federal government were open for business while road conditions and all of the crews working on the roads were not ready in their opinion.
In Northwest D.C., cars, trucks and buses on Wisconsin Avenue were barely moving along the roadway. One driver told FOX 5 it took her about an hour and a half to travel 1.3 miles on Wisconsin Avenue during the evening rush.
The District Department of Transportation said there is still a large amount of snow removal going on and some lanes have been reduced in order for crews to get the work done. They were also out pre-treating the roads in advance of possible refreezing.
It was also very slow-going in Montgomery County on River Road during the evening rush hour. FOX 5’s Lauren DeMarco said it took her about 45 minutes to get onto the Beltway and it was down to one lane in either direction because that was all of the roadway that had been plowed.
The highways were in pretty decent shape, but in residential areas, ice is still a big concern. In Loudoun County in Virginia, the sidewalks in many neighborhood streets in Leesburg have not been touched and the roads, while plowed, were covered in ice.
Steve Shannon with the Virginia Department of Transportation said most county roads should have seen a snow plow pass through and crews are continuing to work around the clock.
“I can only speak for Loudoun – in most cases, their street had at least one pass through it,” said Shannon. “They want more and all we’re doing is one pass because tonight, we are concentrating on some of the primary roads – Route 728, Route 50, Route 234 – those areas where we've lost a lane where it grows to maybe three lanes down to two because of the snow. That's our main goal tonight is to get all those lanes opened up. That is a danger if we don't do that, so we are working hard on that to open up all lanes.
“We are definitely trying to clear out intersections. We know there is sight-distance issues where snow is piled up on intersections and that is what we are working to try to alleviate."
Crews in Loudoun County were loading trucks up with the sand and salt mix. They will be applying that to icy areas that will be refreezing overnight, particularly on ramps and overpasses.