Lynchburg's Growing Pains: Road Construction

Lynchburg, VA - If it seems like there are more construction projects in the city of Lynchburg, that's because there are.

The city manager says between CSO Work, the Streetscape project, the downtown Master Plan and the Midtown Connector -- this has been a busy summer for road crews in our area.

But why is it all happening right now?

City Manager Kimball Payne says it's a combination of aging infrastructure, recently awarded grant money and city council initiatives to improve downtown.

Kitty McCann lives smack dab in the middle of the latest construction zone for the Midtown Connector project.

"Very frustrating. I waited all day for a ride that never showed up 'cause he didn't want to deal with the detour," McCann said from the front yard of her home on Langhorne Road.

One lane is shut down from Memorial to Park Avenue, expected to stay closed for the next six to ten months.

In cases where road work isn't completed in a timely manner, there's a clause in the contract called liquidated damages, allowing the city to fine the contractors for every day the project goes over.

"There's no project where liquidated damages are being discussed right now. There are projects that are delayed because of weather and unforeseen circumstances," Payne added.

Fifth Street is a prime example. The second phase was supposed to be finished in May until crews found more deteriorating pipes.

"I've been jokingly telling people that future generations will thank us for our sacrifice because in some cases we won't have to go back into these roads for 30 or 40 or 50 years," Payne said.

Tina Hackett says the loud noises and orange barrels are worth it.

"I had two girls and both of them learned to ride bikes over here in this area," Hackett said from the front porch of her home.

She says seeing the finished product would have made her mother, who died of lung cancer three years ago, especially proud.