VDOT fines contractor $40,000 for I-95 backup

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jul 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-20 21:51:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has  slapped a contractor with a $40,000 fine for big backups caused Thursday on Interstate 95.

The agency received 14  customer service center calls about the Thursday morning backup that happened after VDOT was forced to shut down two lanes on I-95 for bridge repairs.

VDOT spokesperson Dawn Eischen said she understands commuters concerns. However, the lanes had to remain closed for driver safety.

Eischen said this is the third time the same contractor failed to clear the interstate of the bridge restoration work before the morning rush hour.

"We're going to sit down with them to figure out if there's a better way that this could be done, because we're not going to let them back into the road to do this type of work again until they can prove to us that they can get out by rush our," said Eischen.

An electronic message board along I-64 eastbound near Parham Road further complicating matters during the Thursday morning rush. Eischen said the sign was likely knocked out by a lightning strike and that the agency found out the sign was out Thursday morning.

The agency would have normally have used a portable sign instead, but thought a technician would be able to quickly fix it.

However, VDOT said the sign was not back up and running until Friday after a technician replaced 40 pieces of technical equipment inside the board.