SOUTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. – On Friday, Feb. 26, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Richmond District will begin a long-term tree debris cleanup effort in response to a Feb. 13 freezing rain event. The storm caused ice to weigh heavily on elevated surfaces, resulting in widespread fallen trees and downed power lines. Immediately following the Feb. 13 storm, crews moved tree debris to the roadsides and coordinated with utility companies to remove power lines so that travel lanes could reopen as quickly as possible. Now, the Richmond District is working through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to remove tree debris from the roadsides under one of their existing statewide contracts.
Crews will begin the cleanup effort in the counties most affected by fallen trees during the Feb. 13 event, specifically counties south of Dinwiddie. From there, crews will address all routes in the Richmond District’s 14 counties until all roadside tree debris has been removed. The cleanup process is expected to last 60-90 days.
“Our goal is to make one clean sweep through each road that has documented tree debris,” said Richmond District Maintenance Engineer Sean Nelson. “Our teams have made a comprehensive list of areas where roadside tree debris is located, but it’s important to remember that thousands of trees fell during this weather event. We appreciate drivers’ patience during cleanup, and understanding that we are aware of and addressing all tree debris on the roadsides within our rights-of-way.”
What residents should know
· Crews have documented the amounts and locations of all roadside tree debris in the district.
· Please know that crews are on the way to address tree debris. Hundreds of roads were impacted by the storm and the cleanup process will take time.
· New road hazards or questions can be reported to VDOT by calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or visiting https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Please remember that cities and towns maintain their own roads. Henrico County also maintains its own secondary roads.
VDOT’s Richmond District oversees road maintenance activities on approximately 19,000 lane miles of roads in 14 counties in central Virginia: Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico (primary routes only), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince George counties. Henrico County provides road maintenance for their secondary roads (numbered 600 and above) and subdivision streets. Cities that provide their own road maintenance include Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, and the towns of Ashland, Blackstone, Chase City and South Hill.