Fieldwork for dam removal near Blackwater Creek begins this week in Lynchburg

Local News

(Photo: Courtesy Lynchburg)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The first phase in a project to close a dam and reroute Lakeside Drive begins in Lynchburg this week.

For about six months, engineers, from the firm English Construction, will conduct a field survey and geotechnical work, to verify utility and right-of-way needs,” said Dee Dee Conner, Lynchburg’s principal engineer

Conner said the reason for this project is the need to remove the dam located under Lakeside Drive near the Blackwater Creek.

The dam does not meet the state’s dam regulation and under law, plans must be underway by March 2020, to bring the dam to code or remove it altogether, Conner said.

The dam removal could cause traffic headaches for years as Lakeside Drive is reduced to one lane. In order to avoid that scenario, the city plans to reroute the drive downstream, further north where the current bridge exists, the city’s principal engineer said. Once the reroute is in place, then crews will begin removing the dam.

The reroute entails building a roundabout at the intersection of Lakeside Drive, Old Forest Road and College Drive, according to the city. The roundabout also would “incorporate the Hopwood Drive access into the University of Lynchburg,” according to the city.

Conner said, on the status of the current bridge that crosses Lakeside Drive, “We are hoping the bridge stays.”

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