Lynchburg, VA - It is news many Lynchburg residents have been waiting to hear for years. Construction on lower Rivermont Avenue is almost done; it is expected to repaved and complete before the end of this month.
Monday morning crews were out bright and early grinding down the existing blacktop. The plan is to grind four inches off the top surface this week, and then pour fresh pavement next week. This is a project more than two and a half years in the making.
"One minute it will be here, one minute it will be there, down there, then back over here," said Anthony Paige, who works on Rivermont Avenue.
Paige has a front seat to all the action.
"Before when people would leave to come up Rivermont to go work it was usually a 10 minute ride though. Now it's like 30 minutes," said Paige.
The company he works for called BAC construction, faces it all. He says it is an inconvenience for just about everyone.
"One day you can park on the street, the next day you can't. So you have to park on the grass or on the side walk," said Paige.
Officials are pleased to announce, the work is almost complete.
"In another two weeks if everything goes well, we'll be done," said James Talian, Water Quality Manager, City of Lynchburg.
Talian says the CSO project took a bit longer than initially expected.
"It was originally scheduled to finish in September of last year but we added another seven months to the contract," said Talian.
He says the contractor was working too late into the evening and causing significant traffic during rush hour. So, they asked the contractor to shorten his days.
Now that we are in the final stretch of lower Rivermont Avenue completion, officials say expect backups and delays.
"They will be working into the evening rush hours for the next two weeks, so the evening rush hour is going to be worse than it has been for a long time," said Talian.
The news sounds fine and dandy, but many people like Paige remain skeptical.
"I have to see it to believe it. Because I don't believe it," said Paige.
The section of Rivermont Avenue near Riverside Park is expected to be done by the end of August. Officials say they want to make it clear, they will be done paving lower Rivermont Avenue, not the neighborhoods surrounding it.