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VDOT Holds Public Meeting to Unveil Plans for Main Street Bridge - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

VDOT Holds Public Meeting to Unveil Plans for Main Street Bridge

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The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is gearing up to spend more than $9 million to replace a bridge along a busy thoroughfare in the city of Waynesboro.  But there's plenty of room for discussion about how the project will be done, and how it will look.

VDOT is hosting a public meeting Thursday to unveil preliminary plans for the new Main Street Bridge, and get feedback from drivers and neighbors.  The project is still roughly three years away from construction, but designers say now is the time to speak out, and help them get it right.

An aging bridge carries Main Street across the South River, and traffic to and from downtown Waynesboro.  The span is outdated in design and slowly deteriorating.

"It was originally built back in the 1930s, and it's starting to show its age," said VDOT project manager Keith Harrop.  "So we want to make sure that we have a project in the system to replace it, before it does become a safety concern."

VDOT's original plans called for a three-lane bridge, wide enough to accommodate a left turn lane onto McElroy Street.  But the road cuts straight through the center of Constitution Park.  So instead, the road will be torn up and a new road will be built along the park's edge.

Waynesboro City Planner Michael Barnes said, "Getting that road out, we'll be able to redevelop the park and hopefully, the idea is to create a festival ground.  A revitalized Constitution Park will act as a draw to people to downtown."

VDOT lays out details of the project to citizens, during an open-house style meeting.  The next step is to buy up right-of-way, mostly to provide room for sidewalks and bike lanes.

"On this project there are no 'total takes.'  It's all a few square feet here, a few square feet there," Harrop said.

When construction does begin, drivers will have to use the nearby Broad Street Bridge, as part of a network of detours.

Barnes said, "There will be some inconvenience to local businesses and the public, but we hope the results of the project will outweigh its inconveniences."

The meeting on the Main Street project runs till 7:00 p.m. at Waynesboro City Hall.  If you can't make it out, click here for details on the plans and how you can weigh in.

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