Riverfront Park CSO Work Runs Into Historic Obstacles

Lynchburg, VA- Riverfront Park is fenced up and off limits now, due to work for a city CSO project. The project was supposed to shut the park down before the start of summer, but delays have pushed back construction.

Friday Cheers had to move locations this summer because the Park was supposed to be a torn up mess. Well, right now it's pretty quiet. That's because officials with the Water Resources Department say they ran into several issues that blocked up their pipe project.

"It was a big surprise," said James Talian, CSO Program Manager.

Talian says it's been one big surprise after another since they started sewer work around the park early this year. First they ran into a roadblock on Horseford Road that caused them to get a late start on the rest of their to-do list.

"That slowed down that process, which slowed down this process, which slowed down this process. And it's sort of a cumulative effect," he said.

Then a couple weeks ago they made a discovery no one was ready for.

"They were looking for a two inch water line when they found a six foot steel beam instead," said Talian.

Crews also found a wall Talian believes could be part of an old canal.

So now it's just back to the drawing board for these crews so they can figure out how to get through a six-foot-tall steel beam and a rock solid retaining wall. And, since the construction site is so close to the train tracks, any new plans they do come up with they'll have to run by the railroad company first; a task that will just take more time.

But with construction in a historic city, Talian says discoveries like these just go with the territory.

"Railroad yards and industries, a canal almost right where we're standing, the history here is huge. So, what's buried here is way more complex than what you find buried in the more modern parts of the city," said Talian.

Talian says he can't really estimate a completion date for the project at this point because they have to figure out exactly what they're dealing with, when it comes to that steel beam and retaining wall.

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