Next phase of Main Street Renewal Project to start in September
Another round of construction is about to begin in downtown Lynchburg.
It’s all part of the Main Street Renewal Project.“This will be part of the project right here, yep," said project manager James Talian pointing to Main St.
Talian says the entire project consists of about 50 blocks around downtown, replacing underground utilities such as water lines.
Some of the project, like portions of Church St. and the end of Main have already been completed.
The next phase, however, consists of four blocks from 8th to 12th St., an area many people call the Heart of Downtown. “It is a bummer," said Jessica Boardman, the manager at Celebration Bridal.
Celebration Bridal is now relocating.
The bridal shop made the announcement on their Facebook page.
Among parking and wanting to expand their men’s department, construction, they say, is the biggest factor in the move. “Often our brides do leave with their dresses in hand. They're spending $1,500 to $2,500 on a dress, walking out into dust and dirt, it's just not going to work well for us," said Boardman. "We still support downtown and we believe in it, but we have to do what's best for our customers, and what's best for our customer is moving to Wards Rd."
Some businesses, though, are cautiously optimistic. “I think it’s great, I know its going to be a little rough," said Nour Da’as Elkhamra, owner of Tahini’s Mediterranean Grill.
Talian says he understands concerns, but it’s all part of growing pains. “We have to do this, the water system is 100 years old, the electrical system is 80 years old," he explained.
The work, he says will continue the vision of making downtown a thriving destination. "I continually hear people's surprise and amazement when they come back after having been gone for a few years and what a change they've seen, and they haven’t seen nothing yet," said Talian.
Talian is anticipating 24 to 27 months to complete the project.
Another informational meeting will be Monday, Aug. 12 at the Holiday Inn in downtown.