CSO Work Will Shut Down Riverfront Park Next Year

Lynchburg, VA - CSO work is shutting down Lynchburg's Riverfront Park for all of next year. It has large events like Friday Cheers scrambling to find an alternate plan.

The city considered shutting down parts of Riverfront Park through different phases and keeping other portions open. But they decided it would be too confusing and take more time than just shutting the whole thing down.

Riverfront Park sure looks beautiful. But underneath, the city's dealing with one nasty problem.

"The pipes just aren't big enough to carry both the storm water and the sewage at the same time. So there were multiple places where whenever it rained, sewage would overflow into the river," said Water Quality Manager Jim Talian.

By mid-January, crews will begin replacing the four-foot pipes with six-foot ones, increasing their capacity and reducing overflows. But it also means Riverfront Park will look a lot different.

From January 2014 to January 2015, the entire park will shut down. The city says it's the best option.

"It's actually more convenient than shutting down the street. Which is what we had to do up here on Jefferson Street for several months," said Talian.

"Riverfront Park is designed to be a downtown event space. It certainly is a much larger space and more room to spread out," said Lynch's Landing Executive Director Anna Bentson.

Friday Cheers will relocate to the community market for the upcoming season. It's large enough to fit their average attendance of 1,500 people, but not the 3,000 they had on July 4th.

"We'll have to keep it small, keep it light, and just do the best we can with the situation," said Bentson.

The community market just does not have the capacity to hold events like the Lynchburg Beer and Wine Festival. The city is considering using greenspace around City Stadium as an alternative.

They're still working out logistics and hope to have things ready by this upcoming season.

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