Traffic Concerns Amid New Lynchburg Construction

Lynchburg, VA - A new retail center will bring another traffic light to one of Lynchburg's most congested roads.

In three months, Fresh Market will become the first store to open at Lakeside Crossing.

Some drivers are concerned about what that will mean for traffic in the area, though.

The developers chose the location partly because of the high traffic volume. According to a study last year, 49,000 vehicles pass by the intersection every day.

Many fear that another stop light on the two-lane road could mean another headache for drivers.

"You're just trying to pile too many people into that one little area there," Driver Greg Markham said.

Art Capas is overseeing the 60 to 80 thousand square feet worth of retail space that will be called Lakeside Crossing.

"The universal message is keep the faith. If you can go through the bad times, the good times are gonna follow," Capas said.

The project will include a Fresh Market, Petco, Panera Bread, credit union and Jersey Mike's, just to name a few. Capas says it's still on track for the September 11 grand opening.

"We'll make it. We'll make it. Just like I said, if mother nature would cooperate a little bit, we'd be in better shape," Capas said.

From a business standpoint, the development would be conveniently located.

US 221 runs through five different states and this shopping center is just one block away from where it intersects with US 501, another busy freeway.

"We had a retail study done several years ago and that corner was identified as one of the best places in terms of a high traffic volume there," Director of Economic Development Marjette Upshur said.

For the project's roughly 50 construction workers, it means paychecks instead of pink slips.

For drivers on one of Lynchburg's busiest roads, however, the project is a different story.

"I'm not sure what the traffic engineers have in store or what they have in mind, but it certainly isn't designed to handle the capacity that's going through now," Markham said.