Mixed Emotions Over Midtown Connector

Reporter: Carleigh Griffeth

Lynchburg, VA- Construction on Lynchburg's Midtown Connector Project will get underway in the next couple of weeks. And there's a lot to do.

This major overhaul of Kemper Street, Park Avenue, and Langhorne Roads won't be finished until the Summer of 2014.

Thursday night the city held a meeting to give everyone a little more insight into how residents and businesses will be affected. It seems to be a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, they're very happy this area of the city is getting a face-lift. On the other hand, they dread the inconvenience of construction.

Glenn A. Trent Tire and Wrecker Company is on the corner of 12th and Kemper. Jane Trent says her business will be heavily affected by the construction, and she can't do a thing about it.

"We have no say, it's just done," said Jane Trent, of Glenn A. Trent Inc.

Right now the company has three entrances to its facilities. After the Midtown connector project is done, there will only be one.

"It's a permanent change in our property," said Trent.

One that could really hurt a business that tows semis.

"It means probably purchasing another location," said Trent.

Something the business next door has already done.

"We knew this was going to happen and moved to a different location," said Brenda Carpenter, of Carpenter Tire Inc.

Carpenter Tire Inc. saw this project coming, and opened up a second operation site on Wards Road. Nonetheless, Carpenter says she will work with the city every step of the way.

"If we have to work one night while they're working during the day, it's no big deal. We'll be glad to accommodate them," said Carpenter.

Carpenter's lived in Lynchburg her whole life, and is actually pretty excited to see the finished project.

"I think it's going to be a really nice project that will be an improvement for the whole city," said Carpenter.

An improvement that might cost Trent some serious business.

"In some ways we're looking forward to the end result. But at the same time we, we're nervous," said Trent.

Both Trent and Carpenter say Lynchburg has been helpful and understanding throughout this entire process. They also say they have faith in the city's handling of construction delays and detours after the project breaks ground at the end of the month.