The weather has been pretty wild for the past two months. From sun to rain to snow and ice, winter certainly made sure we remembered it was there for February and a good portion of March. David Beale, the resident engineer for VDOT in the Northern Neck, indicated that winter’s parting shots had been keeping him and his work crews busier than the beavers near Cole’s Point, all while informing Westmoreland County’s Board of Supervisors last month on what had been accomplished in spite of all those winter storms.
“One day of winter storm response is worth five days of work when you have storms that are a week apart,” Beale stated before the board. “All you can really do is clean up after one and get ready for the next one.”
This set the tone for February, as the crews kept responding to storm after storm, as well as fixing up a gravel road in Placid Bay, patching potholes and removing trees. Several spots on Route 205 had also been paved, much to the delight of Board Vice Chairman W.W. Hynson. Several other areas have, as of the time of this writing, gotten their paving, ranging from Sandy Point Road and Twiford Road to areas in the State Park.
The critters seemed to be trying to do their best impression of the Caddyshack gopher, with the wilderness around Cole’s Point as their proverbial golf course. A plan is in the works to deal with the dams the beavers have erected, but until another update from VDOT, it remains to be seen if the department will have better luck against the beavers than Bill Murray’s groundskeeper had in his feud with the gopher.
Beale also elaborated a touch on just what would be going into the paving process for Sandy Point, Stony Knoll and Tucker Hill Road. Cape-Sealing, the process in question, is a two-step operation that starts with a surface treatment, roughing up the previously smooth road. Two weeks later, the surface treatment has cured, allowing them to plunk down another layer of asphalt and mulch, smoothing things out and giving the road its usual black sheen.
“It will ride a little rougher, but it gives us a good surface life,” Beale continued. “We use it quite often on our high-volume secondary routes. Next month, I hope to give you a more thorough update.”