VDOT Internal Reports: TME didn’t patch potholes in timely manner, problems festered for months

Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-01 21:59:43-05

Interstate 264 is a complete disaster...I will be sure to send you the bill for the new suspension I will be needing."

“The road was riddled with potholes and actually seemed to be coming apart with huge pieces of gravel coming up."

“There are potholes every 20 feet in all lanes."

"There is no easy way around these tire poppers. I feel they need to be addressed ASAP."

"Please fill these potholes! Help us be more safe out here."

The warnings from drivers kept coming into VDOT - but nothing was ever fixed.

According to internal VDOT documents given to NewsChannel 3 under the Freedom of Information Act, VDOT knew of the major pothole problems as early as November of 2012.

Each complaint to VDOT was turned into a work order for that stretch of road, then forwarded to TME Enterprises so they could get crews out but it doesn't look like any of it was getting done in a timely manner.

In a monitoring report from November 14, VDOT workers call the potholes from City Hall to Military Highway the “number one problem” for crews.

Still, it took not one, not two, but seven different requests for the work to finally get done by TME. They were observed putting down cold patch on December 2nd - 18 days later.

Fast forward to the New Year, on January 22. Monitors scolded TME for not responding to potholes reported on January 16.

They still didn't start major work on that stretch of road until January 28.

By then, the potholes were starting to get out of control and whatever they were doing wasn't working. The angry comments continued to flood into VDOT.

"Very large sections of missing roadway. Some of these missing portions are a couple of feet wide."

"This sure is bad PR for Norfolk and the State."

"Spring is too long for you to wait to complete repairs. "

A week later, on February 7, TME's operations manager sends out this update to all their VDOT counterparts: "From 1/28-2/7, TME Enterprises has repaired over 1000 potholes..."

Former VDOT District Administrator Dennis Heuer requested the information, so he knew what to say for an upcoming news interview. That interview never happened, because all of TME's work washed away the very next day.

On February 8th troopers shut down the interstate, deeming it too dangerous to drive.

VDOT monitors knew TME wasn't following through on the work properly, but why didn't those messages reach farther up the chain of command? The failure of management to act on these issues sooner is just one of the subjects under review by VDOT commissioner Greg Whirley.

The report by the state’s chief engineer was delivered to the commissioner last Friday, but it still has not been released to the public.