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Debris on Va. interstates poses danger for drivers

Posted at 7:18 PM, Sep 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-29 22:16:13-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- If you spend any time traveling on I-95, I-295 or I-64, you might have had to swerve to keep from hitting debris on the road.

Often it's part of a tire, but other times it's simply trash that might have fallen out of a truck. But avoiding debris, can often be just as dangerous as hitting it.

"Probably about two to four per month,"Adam Daghita of Battlefield Park Body Shop in Colonial Heights said when asked how many cars he repairs that are damaged by debris.

Daghita, standing beside a blue Honda Civic, said this was the second time the car had a run-in with something on the highway.

"About a year ago we replaced the engine in this car because the owner had hit something else in the road," Daghita explained. "It actually hit an item the road, got caught in the belt, frayed the belt and the belt got up and slung around the crankshaft pulley and damaged a seal."

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Steven Garland, who drives a big rig racking up about 1200 miles a week said he had been forced to swerve several times to avoid debris.

"Well, they clean it up but I think they need to get out there more at nighttime. As far as getting this rubber and stuff off the roads, cause like I say, it's hard to see it," Garland said.

Brad Price, who drives to work about 50 miles round trip via I-95, said he believes southbound lanes get hit worse than northbound lanes.

"At times there is a lot of debris, usually it doesn't take too long to get it cleaned," Price said.

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Lindsay LeGrand with VDOT said crews are always on the lookout for debris. But it's a tough job since there are more than 18,000 miles of roads just in the Richmond area alone.

"Our goal is to keep the roads free and clean of all debris," LeGrand said. "We are picking up debris, we have contractors picking up debris and sometimes other organizations remove debris."

If you see debris in the road, LeGrand said to call VDOT at 1-800-367-7623 (FOR-ROAD) as soon as possible so crews can remove the material.