Getting Roads Paved
How do I go about getting a road paved?
Each year, The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) works with citizens in communities throughout the commonwealth to help them get their roads widened and paved. To get things moving for your road:
Make sure your road is state-maintained
Your road must be included in Virginia's secondary system of state highways. These state-maintained roads have route numbers of 600 and above. Check for your road's number on the signs at intersections or contact your VDOT district administrator. Live on a road that isn't state-maintained? Learn how to get your road accepted for state maintenance.
Check your traffic count
Your road must carry 50 or more vehicles per day to qualify for unpaved road funds. VDOT periodically takes traffic counts on unpaved roads. To get your road's most recent traffic count, click here or contact your VDOT district administrator.
Funding to improve your road must be reserved in the Secondary Six-Year Plan for your county. Your board of supervisors and VDOT district administrator decide which roads are included in your county’s Secondary Six-Year Plan.
New projects can be added to the plan only through an annual public hearing process. You and your neighbors should take part in that process to request that the road be paved. However, funding is limited and not every request can be granted, so you might have to try again later.
Can the Rural Rustic Road Program help?
As of July 1, 2003, the “rural rustic road” concept is VDOT’s preferred approach to paving many unpaved roads. For a road to qualify for rural rustic road treatment, several criteria must be met:
- The county’s board of supervisors must pass a resolution declaring the road to be a “rural rustic road.”
- The board of supervisors indicates that expected growth and increase in traffic over the next 10 years is minimal.
- The curves along the road should be generally adequate for the traffic and any increase in speeds expected after the improvement.
- Roadway drainage must be sufficient or require only minor improvements.
- The daily traffic volume must not exceed 1,500 vehicles.
- The citizens along the road should support the improvement.
If the rural rustic road approach is not right for us, what else might work?
The Pave-in-Place Program might be an option if:
- The traffic is under 750 vehicles per day.
- Only minor improvements are needed to accommodate traffic.
- Needed improvements can be made within the available, existing right of way. Easements might be necessary for spot improvements.
What if greater improvements are needed and the work can’t be done inside the existing right of way?
If significant improvements are needed, a more traditional approach is used to reconstruct the road and improve alignment. Additional right of way is usually required. The residents along the road can help by donating any additional right of way needed. If that is done, the funds otherwise required to buy right of way can be used for construction.
How long will it take, and is it worth the time and effort?
If all requirements are met, your road will be widened and paved when funding reserved in the Secondary Six-Year Plan becomes available. If your road is added in the last year of a Six-Year Plan, it could take as long as six or seven years to build the necessary financing.
Getting a road paved can take a lot of work and patience on your part, but it is worth it.
The key is to work together with your neighbors, your board of supervisors, and VDOT’s district administrator for your county to get the necessary right of way and funding to complete the work. Because each county’s supervisors establishes the priorities of secondary road projects, your board’s support is essential.
If our road is not state-maintained, is there a program to help us?
Section 33.1-72.1 of the Code of Virginia provides for a rural addition program under which a qualifying county’s board of supervisors has limited authority to improve privately maintained public roads if the roads meet prescribed tests.
Information about adding roads to the state-maintained secondary system of for improvement under the rural addition program can be found here. There is also a brochure titled “Questions and Answers: Getting a Road Accepted for State Maintenance.” It's available at VDOT residency offices. You can also order the brochure here.
What if I have more questions?
Contact your district office.