Phase two of Lynchburg downtown utility, streetscape project to begin in 2019

20 businesses along Commerce Street will be affected

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Leecy Fink is the owner of Tresca on 8th Street in Lynchburg. She says they see an average of 50 to 60 events a year, and they've already got clients booked out to 2019. 

"So how our venue looks every single day is why someone would book the venue, and so it's important that it looks the same when the wedding happens in 2019 as it does in 2018 when they booked the venue," Fink said.

Fink and 19 other business owners along Commerce Street, from 5th to 8th streets and parts of 7th Street, will be the second group in downtown to feel the effects of the utility and streetscape project. 

"Our building has been in Lynchburg since after the Civil War, so we know how old the sewer lines are, so it's important to us that it takes place. It's important that we are part of the future here in Lynchburg," Fink said.

Although construction for the second phase won't begin until 2019 city officials are taking the steps to warn all businesses ahead of time. They've hired a communications firm to make sure everyone, from contractors to business owners, are kept in the loop. 

"Obviously, there will be construction, but it's not going to be at night when most of the events are. We will work to clean up all of the areas to implement any unique and creative features that we can in this construction project so that it doesn't impact their business," said Jes Gearing, the public relations coordinator for Lynchburg Water Resources.

Some business owners who spoke to 10 News say they're not happy about the construction and are thinking of new ways to boost online sales to make up for the lack of foot traffic they may experience. But for the business owners who will have to deal with it, they say they are thrilled the city is progressive. 

"As soon as we get information, we'll turn around and give it to our customers, just like we have about every other detail," Fink said.

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