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“Code Red” Snow Removal and Ice Control to go into effect on West Virginia Turnpike

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Parkways officials have declared a “Code Red” along the West Virginia Turnpike beginning at 4 a.m. on Friday, January 19, 2024. This will enhance their Snow Removal and Ice Control (SRIC) efforts during this latest round of winter weather.
 
Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency due to the impending storm.
 
A “Code Red” is called when significant accumulations of snow and ice are expected to impact conditions along the Turnpike. Salt truck and snow plow drivers are out around the clock during a storm. Each driver works a 12-hour shift.
 
“It is critical to not just West Virginia, but surrounding states, that travel and interstate commerce not be disrupted in the event of bad weather,” said West Virginia Parkways Authority Executive Director Jeff Miller. “Therefore, we take all necessary steps to combat snow and ice efficiently and effectively.”
Parkways crews were proactive before the storm by pre-treating the roadway and preparing the salt trucks and snow plows for the expected snow.

During a “Code Red” event, an extra staff member is added to each Courtesy Patrol vehicle. All three sections of the West Virginia Turnpike have their own Courtesy Patrol, whose job is to help stranded motorists and to move vehicles to the side of the road.

The Turnpike also has six supervisor level individuals who go out during a “Code Red” in their three-quarter ton pickup trucks that are equipped to plow snow whenever needed. They can also pull vehicles out of the roadway and ditches.

All SRIC equipment has a system that tracks the movement of the truck, the salt spread rate, the liquid spray rate, whether the plow is up or down, speed and location by GPS.

“With the elevation changes that occur on the West Virginia Turnpike we can see drastic differences in certain areas so our sections will be well prepared,” Miller said. “We will have everyone out there taking care of the West Virginia Turnpike and making it as safe as possible for travel for patrons on the Turnpike.”

Miller also provided these safety tips for the traveling public:When there is snow and ice, remember to take it slow.Courtesy Patrol and State Police Troop 7 are out 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you need assistance, dial *SP.If you are tired or need to rest, do not park on the shoulder or off-ramps. Get to a travel plaza or rest area.Stay back from snow plows and do not pass them if they are running in two or three abreast; give them ample space to perform their job.The Parkways Authority partnered with the National Weather Service (NWS) last winter by adding some weather stations along the Turnpike. The NWS uses that data which gives Turnpike crews a better understanding of weather conditions along the toll road.