Monday, August 26, 2019
SAVANNAH, Ga. – At the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) this week, the Commonwealth of Virginia was recognized with two America’s Transportation Awards from SASHTO’s 12th annual regional competition. SASHTO represents fourteen departments of transportation across the southeastern United States.
The Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) won the award in the Quality of Life/Community Development category for their collaborative effort to fund and construct The Pulse, a bus rapid transit system in the City of Richmond. VDOT also was honored with an award in the Operations Excellence category for its innovative towing program, which incentivizes tow companies to clear complex commercial vehicle crashes from major highways as quickly and safely as possible.
“We are honored to be recognized by our national peers for innovative solutions that improve quality of life and expand access to economic opportunity,” said Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation. “The work our team has accomplished is changing lives and transforming communities.”
With partnership from the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), the Federal Transit Administration, the City of Richmond, Henrico County, and DRPT, the state-of-the-art Pulse system was constructed by VDOT in only 18 months within existing right-of-way along a 7.6-mile corridor of U.S. Route 250 in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. It features two bus-only lanes, 26 real-time connected stations, environmentally-friendly transit vehicles, and a priority traffic signaling system to ensure true bus rapid transit. Additionally, the Commonwealth funded a system-wide bus network redesign that feeds into the corridor served by The Pulse. Since its launch in 2018, The Pulse continues to exceed ridership expectations. The bus rapid transit service, combined with the redesign of the GRTC network, have led to an overall transit ridership increase of 18%.
“The Pulse is an example of a creative transportation solution that is providing new mobility options and improving the transportation system for the entire region,” said Jennifer Mitchell, DRPT Director. “DRPT is proud to have been a part of this amazing team from start to finish.”
VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich added, “We are dedicated to our roles in building and operating a world-class transportation system that serves as the foundation for Virginia’s economy and quality of life. The SASHTO awards serve as reminders that each of our initiatives and projects can make positive impacts in the communities we serve.”
“This recognition is very well deserved,” said Gary Armstrong, GRTC Board Chairman. “The hard work of DRPT and VDOT was evident throughout the design and construction of the system, and DRPT’s dedication to successfully implementing a state-of-the art BRT system was front and center from application through award of the TIGER grant.”
Awarded for operational excellence, VDOT’s new towing response initiative, called the Towing Recovery and Incentive Program (TRIP), uses financial incentives to encourage tow companies to clear complex commercial crashes and incidents on Virginia interstates as efficiently as possible. 2018 data shows that, on average, travel lanes opened 103 minutes quicker with the TRIP program, allowing for smoother traffic flow, reducing congestion, and saving travelers valuable time and money.
As recipient of the two awards, Virginia will now be eligible to compete for the national award, presented by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at its annual meeting in October.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Tips for Safe Driving in Virginia
Virginia’s traffic laws are similar to those in other states:
- Buckle up
- Obey speed limits
- Drive alcohol- and drug-free
- Share the road
- Avoid distractions
- Don’t text and drive
Virginia has two laws to keep vehicles moving safely and smoothly around traffic incidents – Move Over and Move It.
Virginia’s ‘Move Over’ Law
Virginia law (§ 46.2-921.1) states that “upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights,” drivers shall:
- “On a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or,
- “If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.”
A single violation of the “Move Over” law is punishable as a traffic infraction. Subsequent violations may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia’s ‘Move It’ Law
If you’re in a fender bender with no injuries and you can move your vehicle from the travel lanes, do so. It’s the law.
When you leave your vehicle on the road after a crash, you add to traffic back-ups, which may cause other more serious crashes in terms of property damage and personal injury.
Virginia’s “Move It” law (§ 46.2-888) states, “If the driver is capable of safely doing so and the vehicle is movable, (you) shall move the vehicle from the roadway to prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic.”
The law adds that moving your vehicle does not relieve law-enforcement officers of their duty to file a report of the accident.
If You Are In A Crash
Check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
If no one is injured, and traffic is blocked, move the vehicles to the nearest safe location, then call 911.
Notify law enforcement when:
- There are injuries or fatalities
- Vehicles can’t be moved
- One of the drivers appears to be intoxicated
- Damage exceeds $1,500
- One of the drivers has no insurance
- One of the drivers leaves the crash scene
Warn oncoming traffic to prevent other crashes. Raise your hood or use flares.
If you need help:
- Tie a white handkerchief to your antenna or door.
- Wave a red flag.
- Use a flashlight at night.
Don’t become a pedestrian fatality on the highway. Be patient while waiting for help.
If you must leave your car, keep away from traffic and walk on the right side of the road.
Crossing a highway or trying to stop traffic is dangerous, especially at night or when visibility is low.
Exchange information. Everyone involved in a crash should share:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Vehicle make/model/year
- Insurance information
When calling 911 to report an accident, give an exact description of the crash location:
- City or county
- Distance to nearest landmark (exit number, mile marker, bridge, intersection, etc.).
From the Code of Virginia § 46.2-894:
Duty of driver to stop, etc., in event of accident involving injury or death or damage to attended property: The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic, and report his name, address, driver's license number and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
LEXINGTON, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are inviting members of the public to attend the first meeting of the Interstate 81 (I-81) Advisory Committee on Tuesday, August 13, in Lexington.
As directed in Senate Bill 1716 (now 2019 Acts of Assembly Chapter 846), the I-81 Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement program and updates to the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan. The plan was approved by the CTB in December 2018, following a comprehensive study of the corridor. The I-81 Advisory Committee must meet four times a year at rotating planning district locations along the corridor and report to the Governor and General Assembly each December.
Senate Bill 1716, introduced by Senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico, and House Bill 2718, introduced by Delegates Steve Landes and Terry Austin, establish the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, Fund and Committee. The legislation also provides revenues for the Fund through the creation of a new registration fee and diesel, regional and road taxes. Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments in March, providing dedicated annual funding to the corridor, estimated initially as $103 million in fiscal year 2020 and growing to an estimated $163 million in fiscal year 2025. These funds will support a $2 billion improvement program.
The advisory committee meeting will be held Tuesday, August 13, at 2 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, located at 401 E Nelson Street, Lexington, VA 24450.
The committee has 15 voting members: seven Virginia lawmakers, three CTB members representing the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts and the five chairs of the planning district commissions. VDOT’s commissioner and DRPT’s director will serve on the committee ex officio in nonvoting capacities.
Any questions or comments about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be directed to
For more information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, visit http://www.VA81Corridor.org. For additional information about the CTB, visit http://www.CTB.Virginia.gov/.
Monday, August 12, 2019
Beginning next week, the Interstate 81 safety rest areas in Radford, northbound and southbound, are scheduled to be closed, weather permitting. The closure will be in place while the parking areas are being paved.
On Monday, August 12 at 8 a.m., the I-81 southbound Radford Safety Rest Area at mile marker 108 will close. The site will re-open on Monday, August 19, at 8 a.m.
On Monday, August 19 at 8 a.m., the I-81 northbound Radford Safety Rest Area at mile marker 108 will close. The site will reopen on Monday, August 26 at 8 a.m.
Drivers are encouraged to plan their travel accordingly. If you need assistance with finding another safety rest area in this vicinity, visit www.virginiadot.org/travel/map-rest-area.asp.
Message boards will be posted for motorists while the rest areas are closed.
For the latest information on this closure, visit www.511Virginia.org or follow us on Twitter at @VaDOTSalem.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
We Want Your Feedback: Submit Comments through August 25, 2019
Location Public Hearing (August 15) and Virtual Public Involvement
VDOT invites the public, in person and online, to review and comment on its recommended preferred alternative for the Martinsville Southern Connector Study - 220 EIS.
A public hearing will be held at Drewry Mason Elementary School on August 15, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m.
VDOT will present the following materials at the August 15 meeting, in addition to the video above:
Refinement of the Range of Alternatives
VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, has determined that Alternatives D and E are infeasible due to potential property impacts. Only Alternatives A, B, and C are still being considered as potential preferred alternatives.
Previous Public Meetings
In February 2018, VDOT started a study, called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), to evaluate potential transportation improvements along the U.S. Route 220 corridor between the U.S. Route 58/220 Bypass and the North Carolina state line.
VDOT is conducting the study in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration and will be engaging other state and federal agencies throughout its development.
The Coordination Plan (updated May 10, 2018) is a required document that outlines how cooperating agencies, participating agencies, and the public will be informed of and involved in the study. Additional public or agency coordination may occur outside of the Coordination Plan and the study schedule will be adjusted accordingly.
News and Updates
Monday, August 5, 2019
RICHMOND, Va. — Following a comprehensive search, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Commissioner Stephen C. Brich, P.E., and Chief Deputy Commissioner Robert H. Cary, P.E., L.S., announced today that Kevin Gregg has been selected as the agency’s new chief of maintenance and operations. Gregg brings over 39 years of international, domestic and state surface transportation expertise in both the public and private sectors, including 25 years with VDOT at varying locations and levels.
“Kevin’s strong, collaborative leadership has been integral to advancing multiple maintenance and operations programs throughout his VDOT career,” said Chief Deputy Commissioner Cary. “Kevin’s extensive, unique experience ensures that VDOT is well-equipped to safely and efficiently move Virginia’s travelers and goods for years to come."
Throughout Virginia, Gregg has implemented innovative programs focused on efficient incident management, optimizing emergency response, developing a maintenance budgeting system and maximizing investments in asset management.
In the chief of maintenance and operations position, Gregg will provide strategic oversight of significant programs across the Commonwealth’s 124,000 lane-mile network, including asset management, traffic engineering, maintenance, operations and land use.
Among his executive leadership positions at VDOT, he has served as deputy district administrator for both the Richmond and Hampton Roads districts, and has also served as the state maintenance administrator in Central Office. In his most recent role as deputy district administrator in Richmond District, Kevin oversaw maintenance and operations programs with over 500 team members responsible for the largest highway system in the state at nearly 19,000 lane miles.
Gregg holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Saint Paul’s College and a master’s degree in business administration from Averett University. He is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute, the Commonwealth Management Institute and the Transportation Construction Management Institute.
Gregg will assume his new role on Aug. 10, 2019.