Lynchburg Main Street Bridge on track to open on November 16

City shut bridge down in 2017 to replace it, meet federal standards

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Accents Flags and Gifts is stocked for the holiday season. Store manager Ashleigh Taylor said the last 18 months have been the most difficult during the 28 years her shop has been downtown.

"So the last year and a half has been very, very off in our sales. We've averaged about 70 percent off in sales, which is, as you can imagine, detrimental  to a business," Taylor said.

She blames the Main Street Bridge construction and so do her customers.

"And I get the same answer every time, 'I didn't want to get in the construction. I wasn't sure how to get to you. So I'm just going to wait until it's completed and come see you,'" Taylor said.

The city shut down the bridge to replace the deteriorating 65-year-old span bridge to meet federal standards. Now, there's good news for Taylor and her frequent customers. Lynchburg city said they're on schedule and the bridge should open on Nov. 16, just in time for holiday shopping.

"We do want everybody to understand, there still will be work going on. It's just that the road will be open and people will be able to travel across the bridge," said Edd Wood, construction coordinator for Lynchburg City Public Works.

The bridge is expected to last up to 70 years after its completion. But for businesses who suffered the last year, they're reminding shoppers to swing by again.

"We're just hoping and walking in faith that we will have our customers back," Taylor said.

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