After the flooding of the HRBT back in 2009, VDOT District Administrator Dennis Heuer told Hampton Road residents, that when it came to VDOT mistakes, he was the one responsible.
“If you want to say the buck stops anywhere, it’s my neck” said Heuer.
He was also the one who decided to close two water crossings at the same time for construction back in the summer of 2012, causing traffic backups for miles.
Monday, Mr. Heuer refused to speak with NewsChannel 3 himself about the latest debacle involving potholes on I-264 in Norfolk, sending his Public Relations Manager Lauren Hansen instead to be in front of our cameras.
“Dennis is busy, he is very busy. He has other meetings, other obligations,” said Hansen.
She says that TME Enterprises, the contractor responsible for maintenance on I-264, did the best they could in fixing Friday’s pothole debacle.
“I think we addressed the situation as quickly as we could,” said Hansen.
Several members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board feel differently though – Aubrey Layne is one of those that has oversight over VDOT in his appointed position.
“This was a poor performance on VDOT’s part as far as responding,” said Layne.
Layne says he traveled those same roads on Friday, and like so many of you, was livid at how VDOT and TME treated the pothole situation.
“It wouldn’t have taken a lot of proactive thinking to say, ‘Hey, we got a bunch of cold, rainy weather coming, we are going to have a problem down on I-264, I better marshal some assets, or at least make sure that contractor is ready to go.’ That obviously didn’t happen,” said Layne.
Layne already asked VDOT commissioner Greg Whirley to investigate and find out what exactly went wrong Friday.
He hopes the report will be ready for the Transportation board’s meeting next week in Richmond.
“This is not the first time where we’ve not made a good decision based on facts that we know are out there, so something is amiss,” said Layne.
After tunnel floods, multiple water crossings closed at the same time, and now these horrible potholes we just had to ask why Heuer, the man in charge of VDOT here in Hampton Roads, still has a job.
“That’s not for me to answer,” said Layne. “I will say this: when you are in a position of leadership, you have to be out front and you need to be proactive.”