The City of Lynchburg and Appalachian Power Announce Joint Main Street Renewal Projects

 

The City of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Appalachian Power are partnering together to begin joint Main Street renewal projects in 2019.  With a total investment of over $16 million in the Lynchburg downtown area, the two projects will replace aging waterlines, update streetscape features on Main Street and the surrounding blocks, and modernize the underground electrical system to improve reliability and provide for future development.

Appalachian Power’s underground equipment on Main Street was installed in the 1930’s. The company will replace the aging system with new wire, transformers, concrete vaults, manholes and grates. This capital improvement project will not only improve the quality and reliability of the electric service, but also will allow for faster restoration times when power outages do occur through the use of newer  automated technology.

The opportunity to construct a robust network that will support more customers is another positive aspect of the project. “Lynchburg is well positioned for future growth in the downtown Lynchburg area,” said Appalachian Power External Affairs Director Larry Jackson. “This investment by Appalachian Power will provide the infrastructure needed to support new development and business expansions, as well as residential growth.”

The Appalachian Power project area includes Main Street between Eighth and Twelfth Streets. Smaller jobs involving replacement and relocation of equipment are planned for Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Streets. Work by Appalachian Power also includes replacing the street lights on Main Street with new poles, wire and fixtures.  

This will be the company’s second underground project in its Virginia service area in the last five years. Work to upgrade the downtown Roanoke network began in 2015 and is nearing completion. “Our work in the Roanoke area has gone well and we look forward to bringing that same level of communication and attention to detail to the City of Lynchburg and its downtown merchants and residents,” said Jackson.

Although the City of Lynchburg previously announced that Phase II of the Downtown Utility & Streetscape Project would take place on Commerce Street between Fifth and Ninth Streets, as well as on Seventh and Eighth Streets between Commerce and Main Street, the City is postponing its work in the Commerce Street area in order to partner with AEP to simultaneously upgrade Main Street’s waterlines and streetscape features.  The waterline and streetscape upgrades completed by the City will be located on Main Street between Eighth and Twelfth Streets, as well as on Tenth Street between Church and Main Streets. 

“As we continue to make progress towards the goals of the Downtown Renewal Project, it is vital that we remain dynamic and able to adapt to change when opportunities for partnerships with other entities are presented,” said Bonnie Svrcek, Lynchburg City Manager. “We believe that taking advantage of the opportunity to share costs with Appalachian Power, as well as limit the disruption to downtown stakeholders, makes good economic and practical sense.”

Design of both projects is currently under development and more information, including the project schedule, will be released as soon as it is available.  It is expected that construction on Main Street will begin in Summer 2019, after the completion of the Fifth Street Corridor Utility & Streetscape Project.

The public is invited to attend an informational meeting on both projects on July 19, 2018, at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn (601 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504).  At this meeting, representatives from both the City of Lynchburg and Appalachian Power will discuss project details and answer any questions from community members.

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For more information, please contact:

Jes Gearing
Public Information Officer
Lynchburg Water Resources
jes.gearing@lynchburgva.gov
434-455-4251

 

Teresa Hamilton Hall
Senior Communications Consultant
Appalachian Power
tahall@aep.com
540-985-2497

 
Heather Kennedy