Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) is an all-but-missing entity in Floyd County since the department reorganized and shut down the Hillsville residency office earlier this year and transferred us to the Christiansburg residency.
Since the reorganization and forced retirement of longtime resident administrator Bob Beasley, VDOT can’t be bothered with sending a representative to meet with the county’s board of supervisors. Beasley used to come to every meeting to bring the board up to date on projects and gather information on road problems reported by each supervisor. Beasley retired five months ago and no one from VDOT has shown up for a board meeting for four months.
VDOT closed one of the county’s two maintenance shops as part of the “reorganization.”
Even worse, citizen complaints about potholes, road surface problems and other road needs go unanswered. VDOT apparently doesn’t have time to deal with Floyd County and the neglect is obvious to anyone who travels the county’s roads.
On Harvestwood Road, a half-dozen large potholes continue to grow. Despite constant complaints by residents along the road VDOT has not responded. On Sandy Flats Road near Poor Farm Road, a rusting culvert has caused a section of the road to sink into a suspension-destroying rut. We first reported the problem to VDOT five months ago. No response. No repairs. No action. Someone threw some tar on it recently and made the situation worse.
On a recent motorcycle ride around the county, I counted more than 200 potholes that need attention. A recent patching job on Connor Grove Road was bungled and left the road covered with gravel and poorly-applied tar. A similar problem occurred earlier this year on Christiansburg Pike.
The agency has resurfaced Kings Store Road and some streets in and near the town of Floyd and is currently seeking public comment on a project to replace the Pine Creek bridge on U.S. 221 but badly-needed road repairs are ignored and visibility-impairing overgrowth at intersections remain unattended.
I called the VDOT district office in Salem on Monday and asked to speak to Richard Caywood, district administrator, about the situation. He wasn’t available so I asked for a call back.
Four days later, I’m still waiting for that phone call.
UPDATE: A VDOT crew appeared Thursday and fixed the sinkhole on Sandy Flats Road, along with some other repairs.