Chesterfield man wants drainage ditch filled, says it's a hazard

By Ken Garcia
By Ken Garcia

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield man says his drainage ditch is a huge hazard-- and wants VDOT to do something about it! He called NBC12 for help. But it may be a while before that help arrives at his Salisbury home.

Every time it rains, Ken Garcia's ditch fills up. During hurricane season, he said it looks like the James River. Garcia said he hasn't gotten much help from VDOT. I checked and he may be on a long waiting list. A recent hurricane has something to do with it!

Ken Garcia snapped this photo after Wednesday's rain. But said conditions have been worse outside his home on Kentford Road just off Salisbury.

"We refer to it as sort of the moat," said Garcia.

Garcia doesn't want his children or neighbors to fall in and get hurt.

"If someone loses control and is not paying attention, they could easily end up in this ditch," said Garcia.

At its deepest point, the drainage ditch is just over three feet deep from the street level. Garcia said he called VDOT twice, in 2005 and 2007.

"VDOT decided to come out while my wife and I were at work and patched a small area of asphalt around a drainage tube under our driveway," said Garcia.

Erosion has taken its toll.

"That was the footing for the original mailbox," said Garcia.

Just last week, Garcia put in another maintenance request.

"To me this appears you need rocks and dirt to try to grate it," said Garcia.

VDOT non-emergency work is done on a priority-basis. Before hurricane Irene, it took four to six weeks. The wait is now longer.

"Hurricane Irene changed everything. Our crews had to go out and do a lot of emergency work following hurricane Irene, removing debris, fixing drainage ditches and pipes so that really put us behind quite a bit," said VDOT's Dawn Eischen.

VDOT said some cases call for a temporary fix, until there's funding for permanent repairs.

"We don't recommend people do their own maintenance work on the roads that could make even bigger problems," said Eischen.

Oddly enough, on this day, VDOT trucks passed by during our interview.

"Maybe you can flag them down for some asphalt," said Garcia.

VDOT said the previous patching Garcia mentioned was part of an overall pavement patching project.

Report problems to VDOT's Customer Service Center. You'll be given a work order number so you can check back for status updates. The number for VDOT's Customer Service Center is 1-800-FOR-ROAD, that's 800-367-7623.

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