VDOT Reinstalls Stone Highway Marker
June 28, 2016: Workers from VDOT's Chester Area Headquarters in the Richmond District reinstalled a historic stone highway marker along Route 1 in Manchester.
The stone was left completely intact after being uprooted by a vehicular strike earlier this year.
This allowed VDOT to learn more about the carving style of the bases of these markers in comparison to the stone that is visible above ground.
Charles Keck, owner of the property where the marker is located, made sure it was kept safe in a storage facility until VDOT was able to reinstall it.
VDOT maintains all historic stone markers within the state right of way.
In 2013, another 19th-century marker was restored on Route 1 in Chesterfield. Learn more about the history of stone highway markers in Virginia, as well as about the 2013 restoration here.
Interns Come to Aid of Crashed Motorcyclist
June 26, 2016: Two interns at VDOT's Fredericksburg Residency had a memorable first week on the job.
Chris O’Hara, at right in photo, a rising senior at Virginia Tech, and Ben Quann, a rising senior at George Mason University, were marking trees for removal on River Road in Spotsylvania County, a scenic byway with tight curves.
They had doubled back to mark a tree they’d missed when a driver jumped out of a car and approached, telling them a motorcyclist had just run off the road.
Could they help?
Both had a full set of personal protective equipment. After alerting their supervisor, they stayed with the motorcyclist until medical help arrived and then provided traffic control at the scene.
A sign crew from Chancellor Area Headquarters that happened to be traveling in the area also assisted.
Staunton District Reaches Bridge Milestone
June 13, 2016: VDOT's Staunton District had “zero” to celebrate on May 9.
On that date, drivers on Interstate 64 in Rockbridge County began using a median crossover to share the newly rehabilitated eastbound bridge over the Maury River.
At that moment the westbound span was taken out of service and the district had no structurally deficient bridges on its interstate system.
The district maintains 429 interstate structures on 235 miles of I-64, 81 and 66. Most have stood since the original construction of I-81 more than half a century ago.
Continual maintenance, including deck repairs and overlays, patching, superstructure painting and deck replacements, maximize in-service life.
“We operate an extensive bridge preventative maintenance and preservation program,” said Staunton District Bridge Manager Rex Pearce. “Decades of exhaustive assessment, use of innovative materials and methods, relentless attention to immediate repairs – all contributed to this most recent milestone. Each bridge employee deserves congratulations.”
The Staunton and Culpeper districts both have no structurally deficient ratings on their interstate structures, contributing to the statewide 98 percent health rating of this system.
Students See Math Work Outside the Classroom
June 10, 2016: Many high school students ask, “Will I ever use any of this math when I get out?”
The opportunity to answer that question presented itself recently when VDOT's Lynchburg District Land Use Engineer Ken Carlton (at left in photo) and other professionals were invited to E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg to show trigonometry students how land surveyors do, in fact, use math every day in their professions.
Each class was challenged to use surveying equipment and trigonometric formulae to determine the top elevation of a nearby smokestack without climbing the structure.
The equipment included a state-of-the-art 3D laser scanner that can gather millions of survey points within a matter of minutes. The students were then able to view the 3D image on a laptop computer.
“It certainly wowed me,” Ken said. “Survey equipment technology has really evolved since I last did any land surveying.”
The outdoor presentation was also an opportunity for the students to consider possible careers such as land surveying, engineering and construction.
Lighted Flagging Paddles Help Alert Drivers to Work Zones
June 9, 2016: Flaggers help control traffic in work zones. But close calls can occur when distracted drivers don’t spot a flagger’s stop/slow paddle sign soon enough.
Flaggers have been known to dive into roadside ditches to avoid being struck when drivers hit the brakes too late.
To help get drivers’ attention sooner and keep our workers safe, VDOT is employing new flagging paddles with flashing light-emitting diodes.
The benefits have already been noted by some, particularly in overcast or low-light conditions and during inclement weather.
The Gordonsville Area Headquarters in the Culpeper District recently heard positive feedback from a local police officer, who credited the flashing lights for helping him see an early-morning work zone setup in plenty of time to slow down.