“I personally drove down Interstate 264 on Sunday. It was not in good shape.”
VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley took action on his own time, coming down from Richmond to see the pothole ridden interstates in Hampton Roads first hand.
Now, Whirley is demanding results.
He says he was the one to finally push emergency pothole repairs on I-264 Friday, and he was the one that expedited the start of the concrete replacement project that wasn't supposed to begin until spring.
“It’s important to me, and to our leadership, that we don’t have these types of problems occur again,” said Whirley.
The commissioner even acknowledges that not enough was done by TME, the company responsible for maintaining the roadway.
Yesterday, we asked local VDOT employees why TME only used temporary cold mix patches all winter.
“Hot mix is a very difficult thing to use in the cold, not only is it not available, it’s also horrible to transport,” said Lauren Hansen, their public affairs manager.
From now on, though, hot asphalt is the only thing contract crews will be able to use for temporary repairs, per the VDOT commissioner.
“In terms of the hot asphalt mix, we should be putting that down. That should have been the permanent solution that went out on that road, and for all the citizens in the Hampton Roads area, I truly apologize,” said Whirley.
He didn't stop there in changing the performance standards companies like TME must now uphold.
“Now you must square up that pothole, you can put hot mix in it as a temporary repair, but a permanent repair must be concrete,” said Whirley
NewsChannel 3 asked Whirley why it took Richmond's involvement to finally get these potholes addressed…because as recently as Monday, Hampton Roads VDOT staff didn't see anything wrong with the pothole response.
“TME is doing a great job in Hampton Roads on the interstate,” said Lauren Hansen.
“I didn’t hear exactly what Lauren said, but in my view, based upon what we are having now, I cannot say that TME has done an exceptional job,” said Whirley.
As for the man in charge of VDOT here in Hampton Roads, Dennis Heuer:
“Mr. Heuer is responsible for the roads in the Hampton Roads district and I will be meeting with him,” said Whirley.