VDOT has announced that they’ll be shutting down 87 maintenance facilities across the state, as proposed, except for four locations. One of those four is Free Union, which serves the bulk of western Albemarle. It appears that they spared any location with citizens who were paying enough attention and had the resources to fight back. Jeremy Borden explains in today’s Progress.
The final nail in the coffin for the proposed shut down of the Albemarle location was probably when Ann Mallek, of Earlysville, pointed out to Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer that the only viable route for snow plows to get from the Stanardsville maintenance facility to Earlysville required driving across the Advance Mills bridge — you know, the one that was shut down for many months this year because it’s crumbling, the one that has a three ton weight limit. This was news to VDOT, who was not aware of their own weight restriction, and apparently hadn’t even thought through how they were going to get their equipment from point A to point B.
There’s no reason to think that they thought through their plans any better for the doomed 87 locations across the state. Those facilities will be shut down gradually over the next year and a half in order to save money, saved money that VDOT will then give to private contractors to do the same work.