Count hopeful drivers as yet another group having to make odd adjustments to life in the world of a pandemic.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has a new approach for its road skills test, and it doesn’t involve a road. Instead, the test will be held at certain DMV locations on a closed course, with the examiner watching and giving instructions from outside the car.
According to DMV, the examiner will instruct the driver to “demonstrate control of the vehicle and complete required maneuvers on the course, such as showing that the customer can work the wipers and horn, can safely back up the vehicle, can park the vehicle, and can safely operate the vehicle.”
Unfortunately, none of the road courses opening this week will be in the Fredericksburg area, but there are options for those willing to travel. And the road skill tests are only for Virginia residents age 18 and older. Those under 18 must take the road skills test as part of the Virginia driver education course offered by public, private or commercial driving schools.
The skills testing has been offered at the Richmond central DMV office since July 1. Other closed courses will be opening this week. Here’s the schedule of what offices are opening and when:
Today: Woodbridge Customer Service Center (only open for road skills testing): 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge; Norfolk–Widgeon Road Customer Service Center (only open for road skills testing): 850 Widgeon Road, Norfolk.
Thursday: South Boston Customer Service Center: 2039 Hamilton Blvd., South Boston; Harrisonburg Customer Service Center: 3281 Peoples Drive, Harrisonburg; Christiansburg Customer Service Center: 385 Arbor Drive, Christiansburg.
Saturday: Abingdon Customer Service Center: 25552 Lee Highway, Abingdon; Manassas CDL Site: 7931 Mason King Court, Manassas; Martinsville CDL Site: 1012 Dupont Road, Martinsville; Middletown CDL Site: Front Royal Customer Service Center, 15 Water St., Front Royal, for check-in; Suffolk CDL Site: 6701 College Drive, Suffolk; Richmond CDL Site: 1305 W. Hundred Road, Chester.
LONG BRIDGE ADVANCING?
Legislation was introduced last week in an effort to get the Long Bridge project moving.
The project, which has lingered for years, aims to remove a major railroad chokepoint over the Potomac between Virginia and Washington, D.C., by adding a parallel, two-track bridge next to the current span.
The Long Bridge Act of 2020 focuses on allowing the National Park Service to hand over federal property for the construction of the new span.
Rep. Rob Wittman, whose district stretches from Prince William County through the Fredericksburg area and the Northern Neck to Hampton Roads, and Rep. Don Beyer of Northern Virginia introduced the legislation, which was backed by other lawmakers in Virginia and D.C.
In a release, Wittman said the chokepoint has long hampered rail traffic and is a major reason the Virginia Railway Express hasn’t been able to expand its service.
The Long Bridge project, he added, will help open up the chokepoint, which exists at “a critical gateway between southeast and northeast rail networks that carries all Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express, and CSX traffic.”
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436