Ongoing Bridge Work Affecting Waynesboro Businesses

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Businesses in Waynesboro - and the people who live and work there -  have their hands full with bridge work. Some of the work is already underway, and there's more to come.

Construction on the Broad Street Bridge is about halfway done. Now, the Commonwealth Transportation Board is considering funds to rebuild the other bridge over the South River.

Rita McCoy of McCoy's Furniture, a family-owned furniture store, says the work has affected her business. Her customers have had difficulty finding their way around the Broad Street Bridge detour.

"We'll have people on that side of the bridge that can see us and will call saying 'how do I get there?,'" said McCoy.

McCoy's has been around since 1946.

Since the bridge closed in February and construction cranes surrounded the store, McCoy's has had an SOS - or Save Our Store - sale.

"There's no traffic and a storefront this large, you depend on drive-by traffic," said McCoy.  

The $2.2 million project will replace the bridge deck. The city says crews are on track to finish and reopen Broad Street in early November.

But McCoy's is caught in the middle - with another bridge rebuild in the works.

"Let's get this one done, then we'll worry about that one," said McCoy.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has preliminary design approval to replace the Main Street Bridge, built in 1934.

"This bridge is starting to show some age to it," said Keith Harrop, VDOT engineer.

The $9 million project will completely demolish and rebuild the bridge.

"We're seeing some cracking in the substructure, which has led us to want to do more of a complete replacement and start anew," said Harrop.

Construction won't close the Main Street span until at least 2016.

McCoy is preparing to roll out all the banners, billboards and bargains to keep customers coming back.

"Deep discounts. Doing everything we can do. We've been here a long time and intend to stay here," said McCoy.

The state is having a public hearing on VDOT's Six-Year Improvement Plan, which includes money for the Main Street Bridge, Tuesday in Roanoke.

Work to move utilities under the bridge could begin as early as this fall - right as the Broad Street Bridge work is wrapping up.

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