VDOT: Speeders, drunk drivers plowing through I-264 work zones

Posted at 7:49 PM, Nov 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-15 06:10:03-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Speeders, racers, and drunk drivers - that's what road crews on I-264 are dealing with on a nightly basis, and it has caught the attention of one state politician.

NewsChannel 3 got an exclusive look at a work zone on I-264 West. The work being done there is part of VDOT's $128 million rehabilitation program.

Right now, crews are removing patches of old concrete from the roadway and replacing them. Oftentimes, they’re working right next to an open lane of traffic as cars zip past.

“These guys literally have to, what I call, walk the line where we’re finishing off that concrete patching to get it so [drivers] can have a smooth ride tomorrow,” explained Bill Richards, Construction Manager for Curtis Contracting, the company hired by VDOT to complete the work.

But no matter how careful these workers are it seems they're never really safe.

"We`ve had people come in, actually come into the work zones and crash into one of our trucks," said Richards.

The stories go on and on of drunk drivers, accidents with injuries and speeders.

"We`ve caught people coming through the work zone at 93 miles per hour," Richards told NewsChannel 3.

Since the rehabilitation work began last spring, VDOT spokesperson Laurie Simmons says there have been 28 accidents resulting in 9 injuries on I-264 from Railroad Bridge just west of Witchduck Road to Parks Avenue.

It's something that has caught the attention of Scott Rigell.

The congressman visited an I-264 work site in late October. He supports lowering the speed limit in work zones when there's the least amount of traffic on the road. He believes it's an issue the commonwealth needs to address.

But for now, Richards has some simple, straightforward advice.

"We ask people to use good common sense," Richards said. "And get off the telephone, pay attention."

Richards says they’re ahead of schedule with work on I-264 about 50% complete. According to him, they’ll wrap up the project in November of 2015.