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Who Dumped the Debris?

Debris off Chain Bridge Road is from Vienna's project, but who has the OK to put it there is uncertain.

For several months, Oakton resident Fred Demech has been driving by ever-increasing mounds of dirt and debris off Chain Bridge Road near the 123 North ramp of Route 66. Because the mounds looked unattractive, he called the office of Providence District supervisor Gerald E. Connolly (D) to ask how long the debris will remain at the site.

Demech learned from Connolly's office that the debris, made up of concrete, bricks, and some rocks and dirt, came from Vienna's Maple Avenue Enhancement Project. Who gave permission to put it there, however, remains a mystery.

"I just find it strange what's happening," said Demech, who's vice president of the Oak Marr Homeowners Association.

The mounds of dirt and debris are located in an area that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has used occasionally for the past 10 years to store dirt for VDOT projects. If there's potential for erosion, VDOT will sometimes put grass seed on the dirt. According to VDOT spokesperson Ryan Hall, VDOT had given verbal approval to a request by Vienna Public Works director Dennis King to store excavated material from the Maple Avenue Enhancement Project on the site.

"Its intent isn't to store debris," Hall said.

However, staff members from the Town of Vienna said they never made such an agreement with VDOT.

"The Town of Vienna did not give permission," said project engineer Glen Bates. Bates was responsible for overseeing the Maple Avenue project.

Dennis King also said neither he, Bates, nor any of his superintendents or supervisors had knowledge of the debris being dumped on the Chain Bridge Road site. When asked how VDOT had gotten his name, King was puzzled.

"I have no idea, unless somebody was falsely using my name," King said.

King speculated that the contractor for the Maple Avenue project, Cheverly, Md.-based Fort Myers Construction, made the agreement with VDOT.

Fort Myers Construction didn't return phone calls about the dirt and debris mounds.

Yet despite the disagreement on who allowed the debris to be placed on the site, both VDOT and Vienna did agree that Fort Myers Construction would begin to remove the debris on Monday, July 21. The project manager from Fort Myers Construction had confirmed the date when he was in Bates' office during VDOT's phone inquiry about the site, according to Bates.

"The people who made the mess should clean it up," Hall said.