NORFOLK-48 workers at the Norfolk office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were furloughed Tuesday because of the government shutdown, stopping work on hundreds of permits.
According to a news release, the furloughed employees are environmental scientists and administrative support staff working in the regulatory branch. It said funding to keep those workers on the job after the October 1 shutdown has run out.
"They received their furlough notices this morning and had four hours to tie up any loose ends," spokesman Patrick Bloodgood told WVEC.com.
That means more than 650 applications for construction that were being reviewed are now on hold. They include permits for the state’s Route 460 project and Dominion Virginia Power’s Skiffes Creek Powerline project.
Dominion Virginia Power wants to build a 7.4-mile overhead 500-kV transmission line between its switching station in Surry County to a new Skiffes Creek switching station in James City County.
Spokeswoman Bonita Harris told WVEC.com,"We don’t foresee this furlough having significant impact on Skiffes."
The Route 460 project will be a 55-mile, four-lane divided, limited-access highway from Suffolk to Petersburg at I-295. It will parallel the existing Route 460.
Some Norfolk District employees have been exempted from furloughs because they perform operations related to life, safety and water control management. Other positions had funding already in place.