Pavement That Keeps On Truckin'
June 3, 2021: The Virginia Department of Transportation is the winner of the Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s 2020 Perpetual Pavement Award for a section of Interstate 81 in the Salem District.
The award recognizes roads with a structural life of at least 35 years and a resurfacing cycle of no less than 13 years.
This section opened in 1964 and has an average daily traffic volume of 23,000 vehicles, with 22 percent being tractor-trailers.
Despite poor subgrade soils and inclement weather, this stretch has withstood more than 56 years of heavy truck use, with minimal maintenance.
“No one could have envisioned the significance the I-81 corridor would have, as it carries some of the heaviest interstate truck traffic in the country,” said Salem District Materials Engineer Travis Higgs.
According to Higgs, the hard work of past VDOT employees and construction industry partners produced a sound, strong roadway that surpassed expectations.
“The continued efforts of our VDOT divisions and local partners have allowed us to successfully extend the service life of this section,” he said. “This award serves as great recognition of generations of unsung heroes in our local transportation industry.”
VDOT is a previous recipient in 2006 for I-81 north of Winchester
A Bridge Very Near
May 25, 2021: Curvy, sleek and modern, the new Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail Bridge over Lee Highway (Route 29) in Arlington is a work of art.
It will benefit the area for decades.
The structure is more than 623 feet long. It has dramatic pedestrian lighting, and a covered rest area with historical markers.
It replaces a signalized crossing at the intersection of Route 29 and Fairfax Drive, adjacent to Interstate 66.
The bridge is a welcome multimodal improvement. This section of the trail serves more than 1,500 users daily.
More than 20,000 vehicles use the roads each day.
Now, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all have a safer and faster trip between Falls Church and Arlington.
Constructed beside Dominion Energy transmission lines, a prominent curved design gives the bridge a signature look while meeting clearance requirements.
Additionally, the nearby Benjamin Elliott Coal Trestle was preserved. It was built in 1926 for coal processing from the W&OD Railroad.
“The new trail bridge is one of the most significant multimodal improvements in the overall I-66 East widening project,” said Project Manager Mark Gibney.
VDOT at the Front of Truck Tour
May 20, 2021: While the typical “Touch a Truck” events would raise caution flags during a pandemic, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Hampton Roads District was pleased to participate in safer alternative.
The “Tour of Trucks” drive-through event at held at Langley Speedway in Hampton in mid-April.
VDOT supervisor Will Rawls and crewmember Brandon Morris represented the Williamsburg Residency’s Seaford Area Headquarters at the fundraising event sponsored by the Junior League of Hampton Roads.
Various trucks and heavy machinery parked around the track as visitors remained safely in their vehicles and drove past them.
Event coordinator Rachel Samuels was thrilled with VDOT’s participation.
“VDOT stole the show with awesome vehicle attendants who were enthusiastic and hard working,” she said.
“We loved featuring our VDOT friends as the welcoming vehicle to the event.”
The tour raised about $15,000.
That money will go towards the non-profit’s efforts to train leaders, fund scholarships and grants, and make real-time improvements to Hampton Roads.