VDOT acting administrator Mike Estes told NewsChannel 3 just this past Friday that he paid close attention to incoming rain storms while moving forward with pothole repairs.
“I think we have taken the steps necessary to be ready to mobilize if it does happen. I will tell you, though, we have a lot of issues out on the interstate right now that we still need to address,” said Estes.
Those remaining issues reared their ugly head during rush hour Tuesday night.
VDOT shut down several lanes of I-264 after they say a cold asphalt patch crumbled from the heavy rain--it's one of many old patches VDOT and TME crews have yet to get to.
“I don’t think we ever said we fixed the problem...what we said is that we are aggressively moving forward and are constantly monitoring. We have as many crews as we possibly can around the clock working to fix the problem,” said Brooke Grow, public relations specialist for VDOT. “We are in a race against the clock right now. We understand the pavement conditions, and just ask that motorists be patient with us.”
Even local transportation board members say it’s impossible for VDOT to quickly dig themselves out of the holes that TME refused to fill properly for months.
“I wish we didn't have any of these, but I urge VDOT to continue to pressure the contractor, not only to fix what we know of, but catch up and fix where we should have fixed before,” said Aubrey Layne.
We still had to ask VDOT, though, if drivers can expect the road to crumble every time it rains.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen. It’s something we constantly battle, battling against deteriorating pavement, in addition to traffic volume on these roadways,” said Grow. “Motorists can expect to see a difference in the roadway by early spring and summer. The concrete work project in its entirety will not be complete by this summer. The project will be a huge overhaul and the contract extends until July 2015. As a part of this contract they will also perform grinding operations after the new concrete is placed."