LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — After two years of construction, Lynchburg’s Main Street Renewal Project is close to being finished.
According to project manager Jim Talian, “It means a lot of relief for a lot of businesses that have put up with a lot of inconveniences.”
By the end of the month, two-way traffic will be accessible from 5th to 11th along Main Street in downtown Lynchburg.
“I used to work at a couple of restaurants down the street and they were suffering immensely just because people couldn’t find the restaurant,” said Caleb Domeier, who visits downtown Lynchburg often.
On Wednesday, July 14, paving begins at the intersection of 10th and Main. This is part of the paving operations scheduled over the next two weeks along Main Street between 8th and 11th. After paving operations kick off on 10th between Main Street and Church Street, crews will move on to Main Street.
Crews will reportedly pave one side of the road at a time, keeping one lane of traffic open to allow parking deck access.
“This is really very intense,” Talian said on Tuesday, July 13. “The activity level down here tomorrow and for the next week is going to be among the most intense level that we experienced through the entire project.”
When this month’s work is complete, crews will begin the last step of the project, which will shut down the 1100 block of Main Street and the intersection of 12th Street in August.
This October, workers will begin reconstructing between 5th and 9th along Commerce Street by doing something similar: replacing water lines, sidewalks, streets, sanitary sewers, and storm sewers.
“I’m from here so I’ve seen downtown Lynchburg change dramatically… It will impact us a little bit because of convenience and that’s usually what coffee shops are for, the convenience of getting a cup of coffee,” said Summer Fox, the general manager of Mission House Coffee on 8th and Commerce. “But I do think that our customers, who are regulars will still be able to come in.”
Talian says the Commerce Street project will take at least a year and a half, but they haven’t decided what’s next when it’s finished.
“We might just stay away from Main Street for a while because we really inconvenienced Main Street for quite a while,” explained Talian. “We might move to church street to court street or a different part of Commerce Street.”
In the meantime, he encourages people to take a look at the new Main Street next month.
“It has never looked this pretty in anyone’s lifetime. So I think right around August 1st, come down here,” Talian said. “And if you like looking at things while they’re really active, come on down next week because it’s going to be a neat thing to see.”
The Main Street Renewal Project’s completion will finish off 13 out of 50 blocks the city plans to reconstruct.
Talian says there’s no telling when all of it will be complete.
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