Lynchburg, Va. – The wait is finally over! Drivers can finally drive over the newly constructed Lakeside Drive Bridge.
The opening of the new Lynchburg bridge marks the end of phase one, which has been in the works for more than two years.
City leaders had the opportunity to be some of the first people to ride a Trolley across the bridge.
Treney Tweedy, City Councilwoman, reflected on the hard work of staff over the past couple of years.
“This beautiful bridge is a result of more than two years of dedication, and I am so proud of all the efforts that have gone into making this a reality,” Tweedy said.
Efforts were led by Dee Dee Conner, the Principal Engineer for the City of Roanoke.
Conner said she hopes the new project will increase traffic flow through the Lakeside Drive area.
“The vehicular traffic on Lakeside is considerable and it’s only projected to increase in the future. So, this bridge is designed to accommodate just that,” Conner said.
Plans to build a new bridge were already in the works before the flooding of the dam and bridge in 2018.
Jeff Helgeson, City Councilman, was relieved the project was done on time and even under budget.
“On time is critical...because we made a promise to our citizens that were going to be inconvenienced that we’re going to have this done,” Helgeson said.
Phase two of the bridge’s construction includes a new roundabout connecting the bridge to two additional streets.
Conner said she hopes her team can be mostly finished with phase two by the end of the fall and that she was grateful her team was not delayed by the nationwide supply chain issues.
“We were very fortunate. I will say that. We tended to hit things just at the right time,” Conner said.
While the new bridge is now open to traffic, drivers are still advised to plan for delays as construction for the roundabout continues as workers move on to phase two.