Updated: Friday, 22 Feb 2013, 6:49 PM EST
Published : Friday, 22 Feb 2013, 10:51 AM EST
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - WAVY.com was the first to speak with Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT's) temporary District Administrator for Hampton Roads.
Interim Administrator Mike Estes sat down with WAVY News’ Andy Fox to talk about issues surrounding the recent pothole fiasco, and what he is doing to make VDOT better.
"We have a lot of work in front of us," said Estes, who sat down with WAVY for 30 minutes. Estes admitted VDOT needs to put more eyes on the potholes, "We did have monitors to look at these things, but we have beefed that up. We had a regular rotation, but we have beefed that up due to the gravity of the situation out there."
Estes said he has met several times with pothole contractor TME Enterprises, and they are on notice too. "I would say we have absolutely had that conversation with TME and VDOT that the conditions out there are unacceptable," Estes said.
When asked where accountability should rest, Estes responded, "I believe ultimately we are where it stops, and I believe the traveling public expects us to have the roads in better condition than they are today."
Estes said TME reports 200 claims have been filed from the February 8 pothole meltdown on Interstate 264, "We want to be aware of what they have in front of them, and how they plan to approach them, and be engaged in that process."
Several drivers who filed claims say they have yet to hear from VDOT or TME. WAVY.com met up with Peter Chay when he got two blown tires and cracked wheel rims two weeks ago. "Thousand, a couple of thousand dollars is a lot of money. It can be rough waiting two months to be reimbursed," Chay complained.
Estes responded directly to Peter Chay's situation, "I am concerned about that. They should have heard something from TME by now. We will talk to TME and make sure that happens and we appreciate your giving us names and numbers too."
Estes said in the end, "The test will be the results in the road. I've asked TME about the strategies going forward and the test will be how quickly drivers see improvements on the road."
Video: Full interview with Mike Estes
Dennis Heuer resigned from the position of administrator on Feb. 15.
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