Waynesboro’s Broad Street Bridge to Close for Renovations
One of the major gateways to downtown Waynesboro is about to shut down for the next nine months.
Crews will be renovating the Broad Street Bridge that runs over the South River. The project will have a big impact on businesses and traffic.
An overhaul of Waynesboro's Broad Street Bridge has been in the plans for years. The plan dates back to the Eisenhower White House, and the Virginia Department of Transportation's most recent safety inspection gave it a score of just 33 out of 100.
The work will create downtown detours directing cars and trucks to the nearby Main Street Bridge beginning Tuesday morning. Crews have been working all week to prepare the bridge for a $2.5 million upgrade. Neighboring McCoy's Furniture is bracing for the project, which will block access to the store's only loading dock.
"There will be a period of time we're taking freight in through the front door. We'll probably lose about half of our parking lot to equipment. So it will make things complicated," said Pete McCoy, owner of McCoy's Furniture.
The job of making things a little simpler falls to Waynesboro Downtown Development, Inc., which will keep drivers and businesses informed through weekly emails and face-to-face visits. Its first message is the simplest: businesses will remain open.
"While the Broad Street Bridge project is happening, our businesses are still open – businesses on Broad and on Main. So it's not going to be much of a detour to get around the project," said Kimberly Watters, with Waynesboro Downtown Development.
That detour will send drivers onto Main Street, which has a parallel bridge just 100 yards away. The city sees a benefit to the temporary change.
"We think that will be a positive thing, for people that are traveling through downtown and may not necessarily go through Main Street will see what Main Street has to offer," said Greg Hitchin, Waynesboro's economic director.
McCoy's is trying to make the best of it with what it calls an "inventory elimination," but the 69-year-old store is not closing.
"We've never really encountered anything like this before. It's kind of out of our hands, and we're just trying to make the best out of lemons," McCoy said.
The Broad Street Bridge work should be finished in early November. It's a revenue-sharing project, with about $2 million coming from the city of Waynesboro and $1 million from VDOT.
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