VDOT should pay for fix

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When someone creates a problem, he should acknowledge it, correct it and bear the cost of doing so. This is what we expect in polite society. Unfortunately, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) doesn’t appear to see things the way most of the rest of us do.

As we reported Friday (“Church driveway replaced with sidewalk”), VDOT — unilaterally, apparently — changed its plan for the Buckingham Court House streetscape project by converting a church driveway into a sidewalk. VDOT did so, apparently, without informing Maysville Presbyterian Church. VDOT claims the county should have done the informing, but Buckingham County supervisors said they didn’t know about the change either.

Indeed, VDOT appeared to have changed the plan and given contractors the go-ahead almost overnight and, certainly, within days. Even if the agency had provided time enough for notification, the church likely still would not have had time to voice its concerns.

VDOT claims it made the change due to safety concerns. But why wouldn’t such a concern have come up much, much sooner? The county, church and agency could have worked together on a compromise.

VDOT’s action was not a mistake; the agency deliberately made a decision — a decision about which it failed to notify anyone. VDOT then passed the buck to the county. Those are mistakes, and it should acknowledge them, correct them and bear the cost of doing so.

The county did nothing wrong; if supervisors spent any funds replacing Maysville’s driveway, VDOT should replace every penny.

It’s part of being a member of polite society.