Katherine Graves, Assistant Editor~
Construction projects on U.S. 460, U.S. 501, Fifth Street downtown and the Leesville Road and Greenview Drive intersection will continue to impact drivers into the fall.
“The biggest thing is pay attention to what is going on around you, certainly to your driving first and foremost,” said Paula Jones, communications manager for the Lynchburg District of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “Don’t be distracted by cell phones and other things going on. Keep your mind on your driving.”
Jones stated that drivers should be aware that posted construction speed limits are always in effect even when no construction is taking place. She said drivers should also be aware that trucks may be entering construction zones.
The two projects involved in the U.S. 460 construction are the addition of the Odd Fellows Road Interchange and Extension and the addition of a bridge connecting Liberty University’s main campus to its East Campus Resident Halls, said Jones. In these areas, the speed limit decreases from 65 mph to 55 mph and 45 mph in different areas.
The U.S. 460 construction on the Liberty bridge is scheduled to be finished by fall 2017, according to an article in The News & Advance. The Odd Fellows Road Interchange and Extension is scheduled to be completed by August 2018, said Jones.
In the construction on the U.S. 501 bridge over U.S. 460/29, the bridge will receive a deck overlay to improve its surface, stated Jones. This construction is expected to be completed by December 2017.
The construction work on the Leesville Road and Greenview Drive intersection will add lanes to accommodate more vehicles and increase visibility, according to the VDOT website. The construction speed limit for the area decreases from 45 mph to 35 mph. The project is scheduled to be completed sometime this fall, likely in October 2017, stated Jones.
In November 2017, construction will begin on Fifth Street, near Old City Cemetery, between Jackson Street and Taylor Street, said Lynchburg Water Resources Public Relations Coordinator Jes Gearing. Scott Parkins, Lynchburg’s department of water resources’ project manager, told The News & Advance that the construction is scheduled to be finished in 21 months.
This construction and some recent downtown construction are part of the city’s Fifth Street Corridor Master Plan, which is now in Phase III. The purpose of this project is redevelopment of the area and utility work adding new water lines to the Lynchburg Water Treatment Plant on Taylor Street, stated Gearing.
The previous Fifth Street Corridor phases completed the Fifth Street roundabout. During Phase III of the project, a statue of M. W. Thornhill, the city’s first African American mayor, will be installed at the center of the roundabout, Gearing said.
The construction work on a sinkhole that appeared on Fort Avenue after the rupture of a water main is scheduled to be completed Aug. 28, 2017 according to a statement from Gearing.
The current construction on Main Street is part of Phase II of the Downtown Utility and Streetscape Project, which replaced old water lines. Gearing stated that this construction should be completed in the next few weeks.