NORFOLK--After February's pothole fiasco on I-264 in Norfolk, drivers using on social media, email and making phone calls wanted to know why contractors for the Va. Dept. of Transportation can't keep roads fixed.
It was a month ago today that more than a dozen vehicles had to pull off the eastbound lanes because of flat tires and other damage caused by hitting potholes.
VDOT said the conditions were made worse that day because the overnight storms washed out temporary repairs.
Friday morning, VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley said there are things TME could have done better, blaming the company for not sealing cracks on the roads before the February 8 pothole fiasco. The report also suggested TME should pay VDOT for all emergency repairs done to I-264, which has cost at least $200,000 so far.
He added there's blame, too, at VDOT for not taking a proactive approach to road deterioration.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Friday that money to prevent the reoccurrence of the pothole situation is included in the new transportation package.
"We will be able to ensure this funding goes toward making necessary improvements to I-264 and I-64. This situation should not have happened and we are working to make certain that it does not happen again,” McDonnell said.
A frustrated Paul Fraim fired off a letter to VDOT after hearing from angry drivers. The Norfolk mayor demanded answers, saying he believed the situation was, "foreseeable and, therefore, preventable."
Since that time, VDOT contractors have been patching holes in the Interstates.
There was no indication Friday whether VDOT will review TME's contract, even though there are just a few records that show permanent patching was actually done.
Whirley laid out an immediate plan of action for the Interstates:
-Large potholes (6” x 6” x 1 ½”) are being fixed immediately with durable materials that withstand weather and traffic. These potholes are being repaired with hot asphalt plant mix and other products that extend the life of the pavement.
-Potholes and pavement failure are being prevented as much as possible by performing early intervention. This involves VDOT and contract crews, including TME Enterprises, aggressively monitoring the roadway and evaluating any signs of pavement weakness before potholes occur. This is followed by necessary pavement repairs to stop potholes from forming or becoming more severe.
Longer term measures will include a major rebuild of I-64 in the southside area and the entire stretch of I-264. More than $40 million in concrete rehabilitation contracts are currently under way exclusively for those roadways, he stated.