Study about secondary road maintenance in Virginia

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Right now the state maintains the roads in most counties. That includes everything from pothole repairs to snow removal. But a recent study looks at whether local governments should take on the job instead.

We took a closer look at what VDOT does for the county and whether that work could change hands.

VDOT scoops out a drainage ditch in Salisbury. Work Chesterfield would have to do if the county took over neighborhood road maintenance from the state.

"For the most part VDOT is pretty good about getting out here when they can. I think VDOT's resources are spread pretty thin," said Chad Carr.

Right now in Virginia, only two counties maintain their own roads-- Henrico and Arlington. In Chesterfield, VDOT is responsible for nearly 1700 miles of neighborhood roads. Maintenance costs totaled about $9.4 million during the last fiscal year.

So far this fiscal year, VDOT has spent nearly $78,000 on snow preps in Chesterfield alone. That's for buying new equipment and making repairs for the winter season.

George Mason University Professor Jonathan Gifford, who's behind the study, said secondary roads are deteriorating as a result of reduced funding for state maintenance and construction.

Brenda Shimchick, who lives in Bon Air, questions whether the local governments could give the roads the same treatment.

"You're going to spend the same amount of money, but we also want the same service that we're currently getting. We don't want the service to deteriorate," said Shimchick.

Gifford isn't aware of any proposed legislation yet.

Chesterfield County said it's the state's responsibility and believe the state should care for the roads. The county said it's unlikely this discussion will result in any change at the General Assembly.

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