Brooke Grow 757-925-1515


May 1, 2012

VDOT using innovative process to remedy roadway issues on Route 17

ISLE OF WIGHT–Contractor crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin to rebuild Route 17, from the James River Bridge to the Crittenden Bridge/Suffolk Line, on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, with a new innovative method. Motorists should expect delays in this area during maintenance activities.

The subsequent areas with four lane sections (two lanes in each direction) will have single lane closures during the following hours:

James River Bridge to Ashby Way/Omera Drive (north and south bound lanes)
• Weekdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
• Sat/Sun from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Crittenden Bridge to Ashby Way/Omera Drive (north and south bound lanes)
• Single lanes closures 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Areas of Route 17 with a single lane in each direction will require flagging operations with alternating closures for both north and southbound traffic between varying hours on weekdays and weekends.

Virginia Paving of Alexandria, Virginia was awarded the contract totaling $5.8 million to perform the paving operations.  VDOT has several methods when rehabilitating state roadways; the traditional method, involves either placing an overlay on top of an existing pavement or milling out the portion that is deteriorated and placing an overlay.

One of the newest and most innovative methods is termed cold-in-place pavement recycling. This method involves milling and recycling the existing deteriorated pavement, combining the same materials in a stabilizing agent (usually foamed asphalt or asphalt emulsion) and relaying it back on the same section of road. This process can be handled by either one or two machines that perform all three operations (milling, stabilizing, repaving) in a single pass. VDOT’s research facility, the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR) in Charlottesville, has studied a number of pavement rehabilitation techniques and has recommended widespread use of innovative recycling processes throughout the commonwealth.

The construction work on this “Cold-in-Place pavement recycling project” is expected to last until June 2013.   Due to heavy traffic loads, the roadway foundation in this particular 4.8 mile, stretch of Route 17 needs to be replaced. In order to extend the service life of the existing pavement and improve the safety of the roadway, the Cold-in-Place technology is a viable option. When asphalt pavement is reused in a new asphalt mix, the old asphalt cement is rejuvenated so that it becomes an active part of the glue that holds the pavement together. These singular properties make asphalt a uniquely renewable pavement. The same material can be recycled again and again without losing its vitality.

Sources of saving for the project include:
• Fuel: Reduces transport of new and old materials.
• Materials: Reuses existing materials.
• Time: In-place pavement recycling will last until June 2013.Traditional paving/rehabilitation method using new materials would take two to three years.
• Safety: Reduces work-zone congestion, now and for future maintenance and improves worker safety.
• Extended service life: Rebuilt pavement structure will be stronger to withstand heavy traffic loads.

The repairs will be slightly different for the north and southbound lanes. Elevation of the northbound lanes is currently lower than the southbound and will be raised slightly during construction. This maintenance project will also improve the at-grade connection between the north and south bound lanes at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 238 (Brewers Neck Road). This intersection is known for its significant variation in grade between the two lanes. The original lanes of Route 17, built in the 1930’s, are currently being used as the northbound lanes of this 4-lane primary road.

To learn more about the project, construction schedules and to see a video of the operation visit:

VDOT’s Hampton Roads District encompasses nine counties and 11 cities, from Greensville County in the west to James City County in the north to Accomack County in the northeast and the city of Virginia Beach in the southeast. The Hampton Roads District oversees maintenance and construction activities on state-maintained routes for more than 730 miles of primary roads, almost 4,000 miles of secondary roads and more than 4,700 miles of urban roads.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012