VDOT commissioner: New contract for TME won’t be signed until after review, meeting

Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 15, 2013

NewsChannel 3 obtained a copy of TME’s current contract, which runs until May 14th of this year.

Their new contract, set to start after the old one expires, has not yet been signed by the VDOT commissioner.

He says TME will not get his approval until a review of their performance has been done and he meets with the company.

The new contract, though, will be very different than the old one, which gave TME many different loopholes to take the easy and cheaper way out of fixing potholes.

In business since 1992, TME Enterprises could be considered an expert in roadway mowing and vegetative maintenance along major interstates.

It was the majority of their businesses for almost 15 years.

But in 2006, they started expanding from the grass to the pavement, entering into two different roadway maintenance contracts with VDOT around the state.

In 2007, they landed their biggest contract to date here in Hampton Roads, worth at that time to be 32 million dollars over 5 years.

Now that contract is under scrutiny by the top man at VDOT.

NewsChannel 3 got copies of TME’s contract with the state, and we are finding out that major loopholes were left for the maintenance of concrete roadways, especially when it came to potholes.

In TME's own contract proposal, they say that on asphalt roads, cold mix would be used for temporary repairs, and hot asphalt mix would be used for permanent repairs.

But when you scroll down to the requirements for concrete roads, like I-264 in Norfolk, there were no mandatory materials required for any pothole repairs.

And as drivers found out, what they used just didn't cut it.

The commissioner says TME failed in keeping up the roadway, leading up to the pothole emergency that was declared on Friday.

But that "emergency designation" is yet another way for TME to get paid even more of our tax payer dollars.

Per their contract, any out-of-pocket expenses TME incurs from a declared emergency such as overtime or material costs, can be paid by VDOT up to a certain amount each year.

When we asked VDOT if TME would be getting paid to fix the mess they caused, they told us they are reviewing the situation and will determine the method of payment following the commissioner's review.