VDOT suspends contract after power lines fell on I-264

WAVY/Jason Marks

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Transportation has suspended its contract with a tree trimming company after its workers were suspected of pulling a power line down that fell across I-264.

In a press release, VDOT said Tree Tech, Inc. of Forest, Va. had three crews working in Hampton Roads on Tuesday, one of which was trimming tree branches along I-264 in Norfolk. That’s when VDOT says a boom on their Tree Tech’s truck — which was not properly secured in its cradle — brought down a Dominion Virginia Power line.

The power line fell across the interstate, causing complete closure of eastbound and westbound traffic for two hours, during rush hour.

The fallen power line also caused power outages for more than 1,000 customers in Norfolk and a halt in the Tide’s light rail service for several hours.

VDOT said Tree Tech employees made “inconsistent statements” about the incident. So, VDOT Hampton Roads District Administrator Jim Utterback suspended the contract with Tree Tech, pending the investigation of Tuesday’s incident.

The outcome of that investigation will determine if the contract will be officially terminated.

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