Sunday, September 24, 2023

VDOT website: Longhill Road widening is still in the design phase. So why are trees being cut down?

The Virginia Department of Transportation‘s Longhill Road widening project may appear to be underway based on the trees being cut down along a potion of Longhill Road.

But according to VDOT’s website, the project is still in the design phase.

Brittany McBride, spokeswoman for VDOT’s Hampton Roads office, said construction on the project won’t start until the summer and the trees are being cut down so the utilities can be moved underground.

“Currently the utilities are being relocated in order to start construction,” she wrote in a text.

So why does the website says in design?

The “in design” tag is a template on VDOT’s website, McBrid said.

VDOT has three status options for their projects: “in design”, “coming soon,” or “under-construction” and they usually use the “coming soon” label a month or two before construction.

Dominion Energy will also move their utilities after the new year, McBride said.

When asked if Dominion Energy alerted nearby businesses about the trees being cut down, Rick Zuercher, nuclear fleet communications for the company, said there are no outages in the area as a result of the activity on Longhill Road.

“As a practice, Dominion Energy informs its customers in advance of plans to do such work by noting it in their utility bills,” Zuercher wrote in an email.

According to VDOT’s website, the Longhill Road widening project will create an additional two lanes with a median from Williamsburg West Drive to the intersection of Olde Towne Road and Devon Road.

Kenneth McKinna, project manger, said the utilities are supposed to be underground around May and construction will take about two years to complete.

Tammy Rosario, principal planner from James City County, referred questions about the project to VDOT.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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