You asked: VDOT maintains 891 miles of roads in Southampton County

Published 10:51 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

COURTLAND—About 900 miles of roads and their ditches in Southampton County are maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation and not county crews, said County Administrator Mike Johnson.

Ditches are not maintained on a regular basis.

VDOT spokeswoman Brooke Grow said the department is responsible for 891 miles of primary and secondary roads in the county. The agency is also responsible for maintaining the ditches, but only on an as-needed basis or if requested.

The work is permit-determined, meaning that once a problem is identified, VDOT’s environmental division investigates.

“Because it’s such a low-lying area, they have to make sure that the (standing water) is not part of a wetland area,” Grow said.

The permitting process can take six to eight weeks, she said.

There are exceptions. If it can be easily determined that standing water in ditches is caused by a blocked pipe, the blockage can be moved immediately, Grow said.

“It can’t be a couple of inches of water,” she said. “It must be something substantial.”

Also, a permit is not required in the case of an emergency — for example, if water was backing up into the roadway.