Completion of Main Street Renewal brings business back to stores affected by detours in downtown Lynchburg

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It’s the end of an era in Lynchburg and many in the downtown area couldn’t be happier. The days of heavy construction on Main Street are no more.

City leaders cut the ribbon on Monday, Dec. 13 to signal the end of downtown’s Main Street Renewal Project, which took more than two years to finish.

Workers and frequent visitors of downtown Lynchburg say the detours, gates, and loud noises were an obstacle when traveling near Main Street.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Employees at Dish, a restaurant on Main Street, have even been sharing an ongoing joke about what will finish first: the pandemic or the Main Street Renewal Project. Their dinner menu is labeled “Possibly End of Construction and Pandemic Menu.”

According to a waitress and bartender at Dish, Stephanie Bartholomew, “The dust and noises, stuff like that…It wasn’t super great for having a nice little dinner. Every day, people would see the fences. They’d be like ‘wow it’s like jail in here, really nice’.”

This restaurant and others were guarded by a huge gate while construction workers renovated the street.

Now, they’re getting more foot traffic and visitors are stopping by to try their food.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Emma Gray, who frequents the restaurant, can now park nearby and walk through their doors with ease. She says the brick design on the street in front of Dish gives it a nice touch.

“This looks a lot better now and it makes the restaurants look better, it makes everything look really nice, I really like it,” said Gray.

Special projects manager, Jim Talian, who headed this project, says pedestrians are to be respected. He stresses that drivers need to drive the speed limit and stop for people crossing the street.

While the Main Street Renewal Project is finished, the Downtown Lynchburg Renovation Project is far from completion.

Talian says Commerce Street is next.

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