VAA Virginia Asphalt Fall/Winter 2019

VAASPHALT.ORG 09 INTERVIEW WITH THE CHIEF Beltway, the High Rise Bridge, the I-64 wid- ening segments in Richmond and Hampton Roads districts, and of recent attention, roll- ing out projects in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program. VAA→ VAA is a technical associa- tion working to make the asphalt industry and the industry’s clients successful. Jointly, VDOT and VAA have worked on numerous initia- tives to increase asphalt materials and pavement quality. Recently, the use of incentives and disin- centives tied to mixes and density should provide long-term returns on investment. What area or areas are your top priorities to continue this partnership? THRASHER→ We are all in the business of maximizing the return on our investments, and for VDOT, that means ensuring that we are providing good stewardship of taxpayer dollars toward good products that will keep Virginia travelers moving safely and efficiently at and beyond average work service lives. We continue to closely coor- dinate with our partners in the materials industry, as well as our research arm, the Virginia Transportation Research Council, to identify and use the best products that provide the best services. Incentives and disincentives can help us reward excellent work while limiting the risks to taxpayers when work is not delivered to expectations. VAA→ What is one thing people who do not know you will find interesting? THRASHER→ I have been a trout fisherman for most of my life. It’s a great way to relax and provides an opportunity to have family time, especially with my sons. Fishing teaches patience and perseverance, which are valuable life lessons. In fishing, like life, it takes time to catch the really big one, but the reward is worth it. VAA→ Any other thoughts you would like to share with our readers? THRASHER→ With this new role comes a new structure at VDOT. The chief engineer was previously responsible for nearly all engineering activities within the agency. While I will continue to work very closely with my good friend, Kevin Gregg (VDOT’s Chief of Maintenance and Operations), my focus will be on developing and delivering projects. I will be leading construction, location and design, materials, structure and bridge, alternative project delivery, and transportation and mobility planning. Once the C-5 is signed, the work will shift into maintenance and operations, which covers maintenance, operations, and emergency management, land use, asset management, and traffic engineering. At the end of the day, we are all a team. I look forward to valuable partnerships with you in the future, as we strive to ensure that Virginia has the best transportation system in the country. Executive Competition at the 2019 Statewide Roadeo and Safety Training Banquet. (Photo by Tom Saunders, VDOT)