To the Editor: Route 810 Repaving

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Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.

Route 810 Repaving

I am staggered by what I think must be one of the worst judgement calls in the wake of the recent storm. A road repaving project between Crozet and Whitehall (Rt 810) continued without interruption after the storm had passed. Basically, a long convoy of dump trucks with hot asphalt, the spreading machine, various utility vehicles and work crews move at a snail’s pace as the new surface is laid down and rolled. One lane traffic is routed in alternate directions past the convoy as it inches along. This might be a tolerable inconvenience under normal circumstances, but the blockage of traffic in the midst of a storm clean up makes no sense whatsoever. The crews seemed indifferent to partial blockage of the road by fallen trees. Instead of removing the debris, they paved right along the narrow lane that went though the entangled trunks, limbs and other vegetation. The project caused long travel delays, producing a huge challenge for those whose medical problems were worsened by the heat, and those attempting to transport ice and water to their homes or to others in need, not to mention utility trucks which also had to wait in line. Heaven forbid that fire and rescue personnel would have had to navigate around this rolling roadblock. My understanding is that the contractor continued the work so as to complete the project by the contract’s deadline. But certainly the State could have, and should have, instructed them to cease operations until normal conditions prevailed. Any contract deadline could have been extended owing to the circumstances. Why this was NOT done escapes me. Citizens, emergency services, the utility crews and others performed and cooperated remarkably well under adverse conditions. There is no reasonable explanation for the additional burden imposed by what is arguably an unnecessary project in the first place, and there is no possible explanation for allowing it to continue during emergency recovery operations. Or otherwise, if credible reasons for this monumental example of flawed judgement do exist, I, and others, would be keenly interested in knowing what they are.

J. Scott Geare
White Hall