New audit says VDOT lacks contractors for most severe snowstorms

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - A new report says major snowstorms could be crippling for Virginia unless the Department of Transportation can fill labor shortage gaps.

The findings of a VDOT audit by the Office of the State Inspector General - or OSIG - were released this week.

The audit found VDOT struggles to hire enough contractors to clear roads in the most severe snowstorms. Auditors reviewed several VDOT offices, including those in Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Hanging Rock and Southwest.

They believe additional requirements including workers comp insurance and extra technology requirements for contractors add to the strain.

“The people that were there were in 100 percent they really cared about heir jobs and they really care about getting the roads cleared,” said OSIG Audit Manager Benjamin Sutphin. “So I don’t think there’s any question about their willingness to do the right job.”

In a statement to WDBJ7, a VDOT representative wrote:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is committed to meeting our mission when treating roads before, during and after a snowstorm. The Office of the State Inspector General’s (OSIG’s) audit findings are a culmination of several years of work ending with the 2021/2022 snow season. We are working with OSIG to address the issues noted. Yesterday, we kicked off planning for the upcoming winter season in a statewide Preparedness Workshop with VDOT Central Office and district leadership. A topic of conversation during the workshop included placing an additional focus on securing adequate resources for the snow season. Signing up contractors for winter weather is a continuing process. As with every snow season, VDOT signs up contractors from June to November. VDOT is currently going through the process of soliciting and hiring contracts for the 2022/2023 winter season.

Sutphin said OSIG staff plans to meet with VDOT next month to come up with solutions.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.