Work has begun on the site of a privately funded memorial to honor Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) workers who died while performing their jobs. The memorial's site, the second scenic overlook on I-64 east of Afton Mountain, is closed to motorists until mid-August while the site is prepared to receive the monument.
The temporary closure ensures travelers' safety while heavy equipment is moving and stored in the area. After the monument is installed, it will be engraved with the names of 122 employees who have died from work-related causes since the 1930s. The memorial will be dedicated in mid-September in a ceremony for the employees' families.
"We've reached a major milestone for this memorial that reminds us of sacrifices made by our friends and colleagues to make Virginia's roads safer," said Don Askew, deputy commissioner for VDOT. "We want to be sure the public is safe during the site's construction."
Nearly $167,000 has been raised in donations from VDOT employees, the public, businesses and organizations to build the memorial. No public funds are being used in its construction.
Faulconer Construction Co., Charlottesville, has excavated the site and is building a walkway and the elliptical base on which the monument will sit. The monument will be approximately 10 ft high and 14 ft long, including the base. It will feature three profiles of workers wearing hard hats cut into black, white and gray granite layers. The layers are intended to reflect the diversity of VDOT's employees. An open profile at one end implies a "missing" worker and will let visitors see the scenic view of the overlook.
More information about the memorial is available on VDOT¹s website (http://www.virginiadot.org/infoservice/is-worker-memorial.asp).