Progress is messy. It is often disruptive, but in the end, leaves you with something better than what you had before.
The same is true for the upcoming Main Street Bridge Replacement project, beginning Monday, November 13. At that time, the section of Main Street that crosses over the Lynchburg Expressway will be demolished and rebuilt, better than before.
So what does this mean?
This project will affect how you will be able to move in and out of Downtown for a while, but not to worry! There will still be many, many ways to get where you are going. In some cases, your route will not be affected, and in others, you will simply jump off the expressway one or two exits earlier. Detour signs will be in place to help you determine how to get where you are going. Plus, the City has created this detour map to help you plan your trip in advance.
Why is the City replacing the bridge?
Originally constructed in conjunction with the Lynchburg Expressway, the Main Street Bridge has exceeded its functional life and requires replacement. In addition to its age and condition, the bridge is too low for larger vehicles to pass safely under it as they travel north and south on the Lynchburg Expressway (US Route 29 Business).
What will the bridge look like when it is completed?
The new Main Street Bridge will not only be a safer and more functional structure, it will also provide a much more welcoming and attractive gateway to our City.
> The new bridge will be be higher, providing greater clearance for vehicles passing under it as they travel north and south on the Lynchburg Expressway.
> The bridge will be lengthened at both ends to provide greater clearance to traffic on the Expressway and to improve the acceleration and deceleration lanes used to enter or exit the north bound lane of Route 29 Business.
New Design Features:
> Existing walls and parapets will be replaced and covered with new facades to create the appearance of rock walls.
> New signs will be installed, welcoming travelers to "Downtown Lynchburg" on one side, and "Lynchburg" on the other.
> Ornamental lights and railings will be installed.
How long will this project take?
This will be a 13-month project, but the new bridge is projected to be in place and usable by mid-November of 2018. After that time, it will take a month or two to finish up last minute details – sidewalks, landscaping, etc.
What can I do to help local businesses during this time?
It's very simple: keep coming Downtown! It will be just as easy to get to where you are going during this project, but it can be tempting for some to hear the word "construction" and decide that it is not worth the effort. Instead, make the extra effort to support local businesses by eating, shopping, and having fun in Downtown Lynchburg, and make sure to tell your friends to do the same.
For additional information on the project, visit www.lynchburgva.gov/main-street-bridge-replacement.