News Briefs

VDOT Employee Reels in Lost Keys

Glen CooperAug. 6, 2015: Earlier this summer, Glen Cooper, right, an operator at the Free Union Area Headquarters in VDOT's Culpeper District, used an unlikely piece of equipment to do a public service: his fishing pole.

The area headquarters was contacted to offer assistance to a woman who had dropped her car keys into a storm sewer along Route 29 near the Fashion Square Mall in Albemarle County. 

Neither police nor the Albemarle County Service Authority was able to assist her, and she was stuck.

Glen was dispatched and, thinking creatively, grabbed his fishing pole out of his personal vehicle before he left. He was able to snag the keys out of the storm drain and sent the happy citizen on her way.



Pavement Recycling Research Receives Top Honor

recycled pavement being installedJune 30, 2015: VDOT’s pavement-recycling research has garnered a top national honor.

The I-81 In-Place Pavement Recycling Project was named one of the nation’s top 16 “high-value research” projects by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

VDOT used three pavement-recycling processes to rehabilitate a section of I-81 in Augusta County, the first time the three methods were used together on a single interstate reconstruction project in the nation.

The Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR), VDOT’s research division, determined the rebuilt pavement is providing excellent ride quality after three years of high-volume truck traffic. Dr. Brian Diefenderfer, P.E., led the study.

Members of the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC) select the high-value research projects. The RAC defines high-value research projects as those that “efficiently deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable transportation system while continuously improving facilities and services.”

“We will continue to pilot such new technologies so VDOT can remain at the forefront in showing the nation how to save both money and raw materials as we rehabilitate Virginia’s roads,” said Dr. Jose Gomez, P.E., VCTIR director.


VDOT Workers Hailed as Heroes

Johnson and cannadyMay 1, 2015: A 21-year-old Newport News man has two VDOT workers to thank for rescuing him after being trapped in his overturned car in James City County for nearly eight hours.

Williamsburg Residency maintenance crew members Chris Johnson and Charles Canaday (pictured) were headed to their headquarters the morning of April 17 when they stopped along Monticello Avenue in James City County to pick up a broken signpost from the roadway. 

As they climbed back into their vehicle and started to pull away, they spotted tire tracks and guardrail damage and decided take a second look.

As they followed the tracks, they spotted an overturned Saab convertible down an embankment near Powhatan Creek Bridge (lower right, photo courtsey James City County Police). It’s an area not visible from the road, and as they approached the badly damaged vehicle, they heard a man yelling for help.   

Canaday recalls first approaching the victim: “He kept saying, ‘Help me, help me.’ ”

Car in waterJohnson stayed with the victim while Canaday phoned 911. It was a chilly morning and the driver had been trapped and immersed in water.

Canaday feels certain an air pocket in the vehicle kept the man alive.

Canaday and Johnson agree the driver was extremely lucky because he was able to walk away from the scene. A police report indicates he suffered broken bones of the mouth and jaw.

Williamsburg Residency Administrator Rossie Carroll says had his crew not taken a closer look, he “fears the outcome could have been much different.”

“I’m so pleased they acted on their gut instinct and investigated further," said Hampton Roads District Administrator Jim Utterback. "It tells me these two employees are extremely diligent in their duties and they epitomize the type of employees we’re proud to have in the ranks at VDOT.”


Page last modified: Aug. 6, 2015