End in sight for Broad Street repairs

Eight months after renovations to Waynesboro’s Broad Street Bridge started, there’s an end in sight. City staff members expect work to be finished and the bridge to be reopened by the early part of November.

“According to contract, our fixed completion date for the bridge is Nov. 5 and we’re on target to hit that date,” Deputy City Manager Jim Shaw said. “There’s some additional paving work that has to be done to tie in some of the bridge work to further up the street on Broad Street, so we’re projecting an opening date of on or about Nov. 12.”

The project started in February, with an estimated $2.2 million in costs split between the City of Waynesboro and the Virginia Department of Transportation. When it was open, the 56-year-old bridge carried about 10,000 vehicles daily, but needed repairs with a deteriorating substructure, a cracked surface and rusty railings.

For Broad Street business owners however, the opening can’t come soon enough. Construction has limited the number of drivers who pass by and cut down on sales.

“We depended on drive by traffic a lot over the years,” said Pete McCoy, owner of McCoy’s Furniture, 100 East Broad Street. McCoy’s business is right next to the bridge, so renovations have taken their toll. “At this location, there’s a lot of traffic that drives by the store every day and taking that away from us has hurt considerably,” McCoy said. “The promotions that we’ve been running have been well received and we’re thankful people have come out and supported us. I have seen my third grade teacher and old classmates from elementary school, so that’s rewarding and we’re thankful. But certain things are out of your control and you can’t let that bother you. You can just come down here and hope for the best.”

McCoy and his wife Rita have also been concerned over some drivers who ignore the multiple signs stating that the bridge is under repair.

“They come up here at 60 miles an hour,” Rita McCoy said. “One guy came up on the bridge. [He] was actually yelling at the [construction] guys saying he was going across. People really need to start paying attention.”

The issues with drivers haven’t reached the level where police need to be involved. Waynesboro Police Sgt. Brian Edwards said there hasn’t been any accidents at the bridge site or police officers called out to investigate any incidents.

The McCoys said they’re just glad to see an end in sight and are looking forward to the bridge reopening. They added that all of the construction crews working on the bridge have been extremely cooperative, letting them know what’s going on.

“I’m sure everyone concerned wants to get this done as soon as possible,” Pete McCoy said. “We’ve just been thankful we’ve been able to keep the doors open.”

Source: News Virginian