New road, building changes coming to Lynchburg

Lynchburg capital improvement projects include College Lake, police department

LYNCHBURG, Va. – In the next five years, the Lynchburg community will see more construction throughout the city.

Lynchburg's capital improvement projects have a budget of $306 million. The first and biggest project to get a chunk of that money is the College Lake Dam.

"It's pretty easy to go kind of negative, right? You had this terrible flood event, had to deal with these things. But this is a time to celebrate the investment that we're making in our community," Reid Wodicka, deputy city manager, said.

Heavy rain in August damaged the bridge and dam. City leaders have set aside $46 milion to build a new bridge, remove the dam and restore the lakebed. Wodicka said by March 2020, they've got to show the commonwealth how much progress they've made.

"We're doing some preliminary engineering right now, and we're really working to think about what it is that we need to do that will not only meet the regulations but will be environmentally responsible, as well as financially feasible," Wodicka said.

Next on the list is the Lynchburg Police Department. Officers are currently working in three seperate buildings, but for $39 million, the old Greater Lynchburg Transit Company building on Kemper Street will be torn down and become LPD's new home.

"People will start to see some work there. We're going to start demoltion of that exisiting facility within a month or two. Then we will start the design process for how the actual new building will be designed," Wodicka said.

Wodicka said the Lakeside Drive project and Police Department are priorities for the city and some projects will have to be put on hold, like building renovations for some Lynchburg schools.

"We are working with them to really think about what is the future of what public education looks like in Lynchburg, and we want to make sure before we start constructing facilities we are able to adapt to a coherent vision that everybody is sort of bought into," Wodicka said.