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Update: VDOT Employee Laughs at Repair Request for Hazardous Road Damage

Update: I received a phone call from Thomas A. Hawthorne the Richmond District Administrator for VDOT and a follow up email. A temporary patch has been applied which will help until the final repair can be completed. Mr. Hawthorne had the temporary patch in place within a couple of hours and has the situation fully under control. He is to be commended for making sure things get done, and it is appreciated.

Below is his email:

Dear Mr. White
I appreciate your letting VDOT know of your concerns with our customer response and with the condition of the pavement on I-64 at the 5th Street Exit. First let me apologize for the response that you received from our call taker at the 1-800 number. Our call center operators are expected to be polite, responsive, and to take accurate information to pass along to field managers in regard to work requests. From the information you gave me over the phone, we will address this matter in an appropriate way with our employee.

Regarding the condition of the pavement at exit ramp from I-64/5th Street to I-95 southbound, I have just been advised that our Interstate contractor, Transfield Services North America, is on site right now to make some immediate repairs. Something more permanent will probably be needed later when it hot mix materials are available but today’s work should assist in making the area acceptable for traffic. As I mentioned to you, additional repairs in the left lane of both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Shockoe Bridge are scheduled this week and will be underway Wednesday and Thursday. Other state and contract forces are actively engaged in pothole repairs all around the Richmond area this week.

Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention and I encourage you to continue to contact VDOT at 1-800-367-ROAD number which is available
24 hours per day to report matters needing priority attention.

Thomas A. Hawthorne
District Administrator
VDOT, Richmond District

Since the last major snow in the Richmond area on Wednesday, February 10th, the road at the interchange between I-64 West and I-95 South, also known as the 5th Street exit, has disintegrated into a dirt road. The pavement is gone, and large chunks of asphalt are all that remain.

So, what is so special about this particular damage? There are millions of pot holes all across the state, right?

Absolutely! I completely understand the magnitude of the problem and said so when I called 1-800-367-ROAD (7623) to request that this repair be given high priority because it is causing a miles long backup in all three lanes extending more than two exits back – beyond 9 Mile Road for those familiar with the area.

The response? The VDOT employee laughed!

Her name shall remain anonymous, but this is an unacceptable response from a Virginia State employee.

We all are resigned to dodging the pot holes until they can be repaired. The holes range from small ones that are easy to ignore, to larger ones that must be avoided to prevent damage to your vehicle.

I wouldn’t even bother reporting these types at this point.

But when a pot hole is so severe that it causes a miles long backup for nearly a week and endangers thousands of commuters, a higher priority is demanded.

Not a chuckle from a VDOT employee who finds the whole thing amusing.

Virginia is looking for ways to save money and close the budget gap. VDOT has already taken some financial hits. One would expect the remaining employees to take their jobs seriously.

Update: The 9:00 AM traffic report noted that the I-64 pot hole backup only extends one exit to Mechanicsville Turnpike. In another hour or so the backup will likely be down to just a few blocks.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

3 Responses to “Update: VDOT Employee Laughs at Repair Request for Hazardous Road Damage”

  1. VDOT is long overdue for a top to bottom examination, with a bumpshoot provided for the dead weight. It’s top heavy, and completely ineffective in maintaining State roads. It appears that it’s scope has changed to protecting and maintaining $100K salaries for an insulated percentage that does nothing to maintain and clear roads.

  2. For years VDOT has not gotten the funding necessary to do what needs to be done.

    Maybe when the taxpayers demand that essential services be funded then the employees will be able to get the job done.

    If I was a VDOT employee I think it would be better to laugh than to cry. Being a government employee in today’s crazy chaotic millieu is difficult. Lots of hardworking folks get lots of complaints and little appreciation.

    Personally I think VDOT has basically been performing heroically in the current snowstorm environment. Because of budget cuts they have already announced that they cannot deal with any potholes at this time.

    Maybe instead of fussing about the VDOT employee you should contact your state representative and state senator and INSIST that essential services (like transportation and schools) get the necessary funds to do their work. While you have them on the phone also request that the state STOP passing UNFUNDED mandates on local communities.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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