A New Home For The Hampton Roads District
Oct. 10, 2018: Virginia Department of Transportation's Hampton Roads District employees celebrated a major address change with a ribbon-cutting recently at their new north Suffolk headquarters.
The move – a culmination of years of planning and months of increasingly detailed preparations – took workers from an aging complex of scattered buildings and trailers in downtown Suffolk to an 85,000-square-foot, three-story building at 7511 Burbage Drive in Harbour View.
The relocation aimed to bring as many of VDOTs operations as possible under one roof, allowing easier communications and collaboration between departments, while updating technologies and moving closer to Hampton Roads’ urban centers.
Special guests at the ribbon-cutting included Commissioner Stephen Brich, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Quintin Elliott and state Sen. John Cosgrove of Chesapeake, who introduced a resolution in 2014 asking VDOT to study whether a new regional office would help the department carry out its mission.
Brich said the new building showed VDOT’s commitment to supporting its most valuable resource – its people.
District Engineer Chris Hall, noting the nonstop demand on Hampton Roads’ transportation network, said the new building “will help us do things better, smarter and faster.”
“However, it is the people inside this place – along with our team across the residences and outlying facilities – who ultimately determine how we will rise to the daily challenge of keeping people and commerce moving,” Hall said.
Hall also expressed special thanks at the ribbon-cutting to Mariann Griffin, assistant district administrator for facilities, and Debbi Riggins, district technology resource manager, for their work preparing the new building and employees for the move.
VDOT's Fire Extinguishers
Oct. 3, 2018: Earlier this year, Virginia Department of Transportation operators James Sigman, Kirk Robertson, Sam Weddle and Colin Wray, from the Burnt Chimney area headquarters, took action when a motorist’s vehicle caught fire on Route 220 in Franklin County.
As the Salem District crew was repairing shoulders, a Ford Bronco pulled over belching smoke.
They saw the driver get out of the vehicle and wave for help. The vehicle was now ablaze.
“We happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Wray.
The crew grabbed all the fire extinguishers in their trucks and were able to put out the fire and save the car before the fire department arrived.
“It makes you feel good helping people,” Robertson said
Maintenance Operations Manager Jeff McCambridge attributed fire extinguisher training conducted yearly as a factor in the crew responding effectively.
“We are extremely conscious of safety for both ourselves and others,” he said.
Update On The Powhatan
Sept. 26, 2018: The Virginia Department of Transportation's new ferryboat, the Powhatan, is in the final phase of construction.
It's anticipated to arrive in Virginia later this year.
Before it can officially leave the shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the Powhatan must undergo sea trials and U.S. Coast Guard inspections.
Shipbuilders successfully lowered it into the water for the first time in August.
“More than 900,000 vehicles use the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry every year,” said VDOT Hampton Roads District Engineer Chris Hall.
“A modern fleet ensures we can continue to meet the future transportation demands of the Hampton Roads region.”
The double-ended, steel hull ferry boat can accommodate 70 vehicles and will replace the Virginia, which was built in 1936.
The Virginia can transport 25 cars on each pass.