Mathews residents voice concerns about perennial drainage problems

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 06, 2013 - 12:53 PM

Photo: Mathews residents G.C. Morrow, left, and Carol Bova are campaigning to convince VDOT to clean Mathews ditches. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Mathews residents G.C. Morrow, left, and Carol Bova are campaigning to convince VDOT to clean Mathews ditches. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Photo: Bova and Morrow charge that, as VDOT cleaned out the outfall ditch at right in the above photo, workers placed the spoils on the bank so that they fell into and obstructed the outfall ditch on the left. The ditches begin at different spots on Canoe Yard Trail in Onemo and end up side by side at this point on Bethel Beach Road. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Bova and Morrow charge that, as VDOT cleaned out the outfall ditch at right in the above photo, workers placed the spoils on the bank so that they fell into and obstructed the outfall ditch on the left. The ditches begin at different spots on Canoe Yard Trail in Onemo and end up side by side at this point on Bethel Beach Road. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Mathews residents Carol Bova and G.C. Morrow are tired of water-clogged ditches, and they take every opportunity to tell the Virginia Department of Transportation to clean them out.

During last month’s board of supervisors meeting, with VDOT assistant residency administrator Joyce McGowan present, Bova read a paragraph from VDOT’s own manual for county supervisors. It says that adequate drainage is integral to maintaining a safe and structurally sound roadway and that drainage problems are responsible for most pavement failures and soil erosion.

"One of the most important duties of maintenance personnel is the repair and maintenance of the highway drainage system," read Bova, "and the importance of this activity cannot be over-emphasized."

Bova said VDOT needs to pay more attention to its own drainage policies.

In response to questions from supervisor Neena Putt, McGowan said that VDOT has no responsibility for outfall ditches that aren’t deeded to VDOT and aren’t causing problems with the roadways. She said the department used to clean ditches on a complaint basis, but has now gone to a systematic method whereby the ditches are scheduled to be cleaned regularly. But she said if residents let VDOT know about flooded areas, someone will address the problem.