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Salem District Newsletter
Volume 16 Issue 12
• More than Roadwork
• Rising to the Challenge
• Employee Profile:
• LEAD Job Swap
• Taking Advantage of
Winter’s Nice Days
Survey Technicians David Harden (left) and Brandon Lovell (right) map coordinates of interest
on the corner of Route 460 and Camp Jaycee Road in Bedford County to prepare plans for an
upcoming road project.
MLK CELEBRATION KICKOFF
“It does not matter how long you live,
but how well you do it.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Civil Rights Division kicked off its annual Martin
Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day celebration in November.
The celebration will end on January 12 with a virtual
meeting honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. for his
unifying contributions to society.
This annual celebration is inspired by Dr. King’s quote:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What
are you doing for others?”
“Through our work here at VDOT, we have the
opportunity to serve others each and every day,”
explained Civil Rights Manager Lori Law. “This
campaign will allow us to continue that mission
because together, we can accomplish so much!”
The district and residencies have each chosen a charity
to support during this year’s MLK Day celebration.
cont. pg. 2
By Ken King, P.E.
the end of
across the district.
With single-digit and subzero
facilities staff worked extra
hours to address ruptured
water lines and pipes at many
of our area offices.
December also brought some
of our first storms of the
I appreciate the response you
provided, and I also want to
acknowledge all the hard work
that went into preparing for
this winter season.
cont. pg. 2
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke 1
This preparation resulted in
an increase in the number of
contractors and emergency
hourly staff available to
address winter storms.
VDOT’s role is never more
visible to the public than
when we perform snow
removal operations. It is
during these times that you
truly shine. I am grateful for
the preparation and also
for the execution that will
continue to take place in the
months ahead when the
Over the past year, we have
also been working to deliver
the largest design and
construction program seen in
the district since the building
of the interstate system.
As you travel on the widened
section of I-81 that was
completed earlier this year,
you have a new view of a
large development site near
I-581 that was prepared by
The future widening of I-81
in Salem District will make
a tremendous difference,
not only in terms of mobility
but also for economic
I appreciate the hard work
and dedication from so
many of you that are on the
front line of these efforts
I hope the holiday season
provided each of you with
a well-deserved break and
time to visit with friends
As we prepare for
the new year and all
the challenges and
opportunities it will
bring, I ask each of
you to please keep
safety as your first
priority. Support your
teammates and let’s
make 2023 our best
Listed below are all of the charities and the corresponding MLK Day coordinators.
Salem District Complex:
The Salvation Army of Roanoke
Brianna Hatcher, 540-387-5552
New River Community Action Program
Susan Jarrells, 540-381-7201
Henry/Patrick Counties - The Warming Center of Martinsville
Carroll County - Willing Partners
Michelle Carter, 276-627-1510
The Ronald McDonald House
Peggi Johnson, 540-682-7004
Feeding Southwest Virginia
Tristan Palmgren, 540-387-5497
Southwest Regional Operations:
The Salvation Army of Roanoke VA
Ann Blevins, 540-375-0120
Employees are also encouraged to use their Community Service Leave towards a
“Day of Service.”
MORE THAN ROADWORK IN BURNT CHIMNEY
Burnt Chimney AHQ started this year’s
holiday season by organizing a food drive
to benefit four local elementary schools in
It all started when Travis Manning, Daniel
Shortt, Lee Myers and Jason Conklin were
talking about how they could help needy
kids in the area. They took their idea to the
rest of the Burnt Chimney team and they all
agreed to contribute.
After contacting the guidance counselors and
resource officers at Dudley, Burnt Chimney,
Boones Mill and Windy Gap elementary
schools, they discovered an overwhelming
need for non-perishable foods.
Since the need was so great, the team
decided to do the food drive in two rounds.
During the first round, the first two schools
received their donations before Thanksgiving.
The second two schools received their
donations right before Christmas.
“VDOT’s motto ‘Keep Virginia Moving’ means more to us than roadwork,”
Burnt Chimney AHQ Operators Lee Myers,
Regina Gatton and Travis Manning sort items
for the elementary food drive
explained Superintendent Timothy Jefferson. “For us, it also includes community
involvement, and this food drive is a good example of that.”
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
Assistant District Traffic Engineer Brett Randolph
recently stepped in to fill the role of interim assistant
residency engineer at the Salem Residency.
As Ashley Mothena enjoys maternity leave, Brett has
assumed her duties until she returns in mid-February.
Brett is able to perform Ashley’s duties at the
residency while Jim Keene helps fulfill his duties in
When the opportunity became available, Brett rose to
the occasion and volunteered to help because he is a
team player. “We are one VDOT, and I value the people I work with,” he explained.
“I also knew it would be a great opportunity to challenge myself in new ways.”
He noted that the two jobs tie in together in many ways. “Approximately 40%
of traffic engineering work is generated from the residency offices in response to
citizen requests,” he explained. “Traffic engineers provide the recommendations
and then the residency contacts the community.”
Brett said the biggest difference between the two jobs is customer service. “At
the residency, daily communications occur with the public and/or county officials.
My regular traffic engineering job mostly involves overseeing work with very little
interactions with external customers.”
While he has enjoyed his temporary position at the residency, Brett looks forward
to resuming his role in the traffic division. “I am composed of 100 percent traffic
engineer blood. If there was a color for that, that’s what color I’d bleed ... maybe
work zone orange?”
Delta Dental has entered into a
partnership with Amplifon Hearing
Health Care to provide hearing aid
discounts averaging 66% off retail cost.
Through this partnership, this discount
is available immediately to state
employees covered under Delta Dental.
There is no additional cost for this
benefit, and it does not impact the
state’s optional hearing benefit.
Members who wish to access this
benefit may contact Amplifon
(877-593-0051) and let them know
of their dental coverage with Delta
Dental of Virginia. Amplifon will
handle the rest.
For more information, contact or email
EMPLOYEE PROFILE: LEWIS SHARPE
After working in custodial work for 28
years for Bedford County schools, Lewis
Sharpe was looking for a change. As
an occasional bus driver for the school
system, he already had a CDL which
helped make the transition to operator at
the New London AHQ 11 years ago.
Three years ago, he transferred to Big
Island AHQ which is closer to home.
“There’s a quite a difference in road work
between New London to Big Island,”
Lewis said explaining how the same job
in two locations can be different. “In New
London, you’re almost in Lynchburg, and
there is a lot of city traffic. In Big Island, it
is mostly country roads.”
Lewis likes that his job is different every day. “I could be
mowing in one place one day and when I go back to mow it
again, it looks completely different. There could be an animal
in the way or trees down or something that makes it different,”
He recalled a time when some straight-line winds came
through the area and knocked down trees and branches.
The road was such a mess, it took the
whole night to clean up one end of Rocky
Mountain Road to the other. The nighttime
work doesn’t bother him though. He
actually chooses the night shift to push
snow. “It’s quiet on the roads at night,
and there is not a lot of traffic.”
Lewis appreciates the training
opportunities that VDOT provides and
participates as often as he can. He has
been an instructor for chainsaw training
and even led a “Train the Trainee” class to
demonstrate how to operate the
Not one to sit still, Lewis stays busy outside of work on
his family farm, which has more than 100 acres of land
in the Big Island area. He and his brother work together
tending to the cows, chickens and guinea fowls.
He also likes to garden. “I can grow just about any
vegetable,” Lewis explained. “You name it, and I
probably grow it.”
In his spare time, Lewis loves to go fishing with his
grandkids and pastor in local ponds.
Bedford • Botetourt • Carroll • Craig • Floyd • Franklin • Giles • Henry • Montgomery • Patrick • Pulaski • Roanoke
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Citizens Express Gratitude for VDOT
Great job repairing pot holes on
Lovers Lane. I am very happy with
the work and how quickly it was
addressed. I admire the work you
guys do day in and day out.
-C. Reynolds, Montvale AHQ
I would like to thank the local VDOT
crew that completed the patches
on Great Oak Drive in Forest. After
reporting this problem, I received a
voice message that the work had
been completed. It was a twoday
process and after completing
the second day, it’s MUCH better.
The patch in the curve was greatly
needed and looks great ... Thanks
again for your quick response to my
problem and GOOD JOB!!!
-C. Cyrus, New London AHQ
Thank you to the VDOT crew that
came out and cut the trees back on
Grandin Road Extension. The whole
neighborhood is appreciative.
-C. Lucas, Hanging Rock
Thank you so much that was a
beautiful job y’all did on Crestview
Road in Stuart. It is the best it has
looked in a long time and now I don’t
have to worry about brush dragging
the side of cars.
-A. Rorrer, Fairystone AHQ
Thank you so much for being so
responsive. We were blocked by a
downed tree on Hidden Woods Drive
after heavy winds. Someone was
out to help in less than 90 minutes
of the call. The person who came to
take care of the tree was so kind and
helpful. THANK YOU VDOT!
-C. Morrow, Hanging Rock
Thank you to the local crew for the
great job they did cleaning out the
culvert on Statler Road.
-M. Ream, Montvale AHQ
Thank you for your prompt response
to my request to take care of the two
leaning trees on Hales Point Drive.
-R. Schoepf, Burnt Chimney AHQ
LEAD JOB SWAP
As part of VDOT’s Leadership Enhancement and
Development (LEAD) program, Assistant Martinsville
Residency Engineer David Kiser switched job roles
with Bristol Area Construction Engineer Todd Bolling.
LEAD is a year-long intensive development experience
for mid-senior level leaders.
For four weeks, David worked out of the Jonesville
Residency at the Bristol District and gained a much
better understanding of how the construction
“What surprised me the most was the amount of negotiating that goes on with
contractors after contracts are awarded,” David said. “Many things can come up
during construction that were not foreseeable during design. The construction
managers have to handle these issues quickly and on the fly.”
This job swap experience gave David a greater perspective of VDOT as a whole,
which will help him in his role at the Martinsville Residency. “It will help me
interact with the construction team better, and it will also help me coordinate, plan
and prepare for road work in the future.”
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF WINTER’S NICE DAYS
Despite a few days of wintry
weather early in the season, this
area has also seen some nice days
for road maintenance.
Southwest AHQ (left) took
advantage of a nice day in
December and put down asphalt in
the Hunting Hills neighborhood in
In early January, Traffic Operator
Annetta Sherman (right) installed
new thermoplastic school markings
near Cave Spring Middle School.
Milton Stuart, Operator, New London AHQ
Bradley Radford, Maintenance Manager, Bedford Residency
Bryan Carriker, Operator, Montvale AHQ
Keegan Boothe, Operator, Check AHQ
Dustin Taylor, Operator, Dublin AHQ
Kennith Akers, Operator, Blacksburg AHQ
Shawn McCroskey, Operator, Pearisburg AHQ
Wyatt McPherson, Operator, Troutville AHQ
Promotions / Transfers / Relocations
Charles White, Contract Monitor, Salem Roadside Management
Jason Connor, Crew Leader, Check AHQ
William Bolt, Crew Leader, Willis AHQ
Steven Gillispie, Crew Leader, Pearisburg AHQ
Teresa Bondurant, Program Management Analyst, Programming
Elias Mannon, Senior Project Management Engineer, Location and Design
Charles Gilbert, IT Program Manager, District Business
Virginia Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153
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