The Virginia Department of Transportation is cutting its last ties with a contractor with major safety issues. Tree-Tech Inc., which trims trees on the sides of the interstate, just had its Richmond District contract canceled.
The last time the On Your Side Investigators told you about Tree-Tech it had lost its business in three other districts, but was still allowed to be on our roads. Right while our investigation was airing, a letter through certified mail was on its way to the company to let owners know it was no longer welcome here.
The traffic nightmare on Interstate-264 caused by safety issues was so severe VDOT revoked Tree-Tech's Hampton Roads contract. Other safety issues in Lynchburg and Salem also reached unacceptable levels for the Department of Transportation to allow the company to keep working.
We've uncovered officials reviewed additional information and contract language to check out all possible options for the Richmond district. That led to the cancellation here.
So we wanted to know what VDOT is doing to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
“There is very specific language about safety and making sure that safety is being followed,” VDOT Public Information Officer Marshall Herman explained. “Safety is a priority for the department of transportation and we do everything in our power to make sure that contractors follow any guidelines about safety.”
But now it's not just about contract language and guidelines.
“We also have many people within VDOT who monitor these contractors, the work that they're doing,” Herman added. “They can show up on site at any point to make sure that safety is being followed.”
In the meantime, while VDOT advertises for a permanent contractor to replace Tree-Tech, Pittman Tree and Landscaping will cut the trees on interstates in Richmond.
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