The local representatives for the Virginia Department of Transportation have been particularly active lately, having been present for several Board of Supervisors meetings in Westmoreland County to give updates and put problem areas on their list. This month was no exception as George Bowman of VDOT stepped in to have a chat with the board. What took place ranged from talk about trash to updates on pothole fillings, and a look at what was to come.
So at last month’s Board of Supervisors, the local VDOT representatives had spoken about the “Virginia is for Lovers, not Litter” program that had gone into effect. Unfortunately, the task of clearing out garbage was starting to look rather sisyphean in its scope, as trash started to litter Route 3 over the course of October, leading to Bowman’s November address to the board.
“The very next day after we finished mowing, I drove down Route 3 to get onto route 202,” Bowman stated, “and we had just spent the $11,000 that was allocated to litter pickup. In less than 24 hours, there was enough trash to fill up another trailer.
“It does cost the taxpayers a lot for us to pick it up,” he continued, “though I know this isn’t deliberate for the most part. A lot of this is due to people not securing their trash when they go to the convenience centers. A lot of what I’m seeing is stuff that falls out of the back of trucks and trailers, and I’d urge people to have the loads secured, since it’s costing us a lot of money to clean up the roadsides”.
Things were not so depressing, however, when it rolled around to repair jobs along the highway, as the flooding culvert on Nomini Hall Road had been cleared out, as had the culvert on Route 3 near the funeral home. Furthermore, flooding at the Wakefield gate had been addressed, and potholes at Safe Harbor Landing, Cherry Grove, and Coles Point had been filled and patched.
There remains quite a lot to be done in the way of road repairs, however. Pipes need to be installed at Currioman landing, ditching needs to be complete, and Westmoreland State Park needs paving done. The latter has been badly delayed due in no small part to the recent rains, which make it a bad idea to attempt to lay down asphalt.
“The roads have been super-wet, and we cannot get the road to dry out,” Bowman explained. “We’re not going to put asphalt on something that won’t be able to withstand the traffic, so we’ve put the brakes on that for now, and are going to give it time to dry out.”
Of course, the better the weather, the more Bowman and his VDOT crews will be able to accomplish.
“I’m hoping that we’ll have a calm winter, and that the rain we’ve received this summer doesn’t translate into snow. If we get as much snow as we got rain, we are going to be in trouble.”
Thankfully, however, Bowman has stated that VDOT will be ready for whatever weather is thrown at them this winter.