A long-held desire by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) employees to pay tribute to colleagues who died making Virginia roads safer and better is on its way to becoming a reality. The VDOT Workers’ Memorial will be self-funded by donations and will bear the names of more than 80 employees who died from work-related causes.
“We owe it to our employees and friends who gave the ultimate sacrifice doing their jobs to honor them with a memorial that truly comes from the heart,” said VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet. “Their work is done but they certainly will not be forgotten.”
The memorial will be located in a large grassy area within the second scenic overlook on I-64 east of Afton Mountain, from which Nelson and Albemarle counties’ rolling countryside can be enjoyed. The monument’s design features profiles of three employees wearing hard hats cut into black, white and gray granite, representing VDOT’s diverse work force. The scenic view can be seen through an open profile that implies a “missing” worker.
The monument will be approximately 10 ft. high and 14 ft. long including its base. The area will be landscaped with native perennial wildflowers and colorful trees. VDOT employee Harry Lee of Fredericksburg and his daughter, Stephanie, a senior at Mary Washington College, submitted the monument design in response to a call for concepts from VDOT employees last year. Scott Johnson, a VDOT wildflower program and landscape design manager in its Richmond District, created the landscape design.
The monument is estimated to cost $180,000. Current and former VDOT employees, supportive individuals and a variety of groups have contributed approximately $70,000 to date. It is expected that a groundbreaking will be held in this fall and the monument completed by 2004.