Next phase of construction coming to downtown Lynchburg


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET)-- Lynchburg city council gave the green light for phase 2 of the downtown utility and streetscape project. The next estimated 6-7 million dollar project will replace waterlines upwards of 150 years old.

"This is a challenge that any business owner will have to face," Jimmy's on the James owner Bob Rygielski said to ABC 13.

City officials says commerce street will remain open to traffic during the construction. The end result should be similar what we see on Church street now.

"As we ramp up our operations, we will have a lot more access to the facility in the long run," Geoffrey Kershner, executive director of the Academy of the Arts said.

For the Academy Center of the Arts, this all comes right after they open their remodeled theater.

"In the short term, maybe a little frustrating, but for the long term this will be incredible for the city," Kershner said.

Rygielski felt the same way. Once the orange barrels go away, it will be a win for the city, according to him.

"It's a very exciting time for Lynchburg, especially downtown Lynchburg," he said.

Some other businesses will be excited once it's all done, but have some concerns once crews dig up the road.

"Our brides enter and exit through the front door. Our corporate events enter and exit through the front door," Tresca on 8th owner Leecy Fink said.

She says the city never reached out to her about the work being approved. City leaders hired a PR firm to stay in communication with the businesses. Fink loves the city being upgraded, she just wants it down efficiently with little to no harm for her bottom line.

"This is part of growing and growing pains are hard for everybody, and we want to make sure that we do it right," she said.

The project is estimated to be completed by the summer or fall of 2020.

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