Bridge develops

Candler’s Mtn. Road will open soon

After two years of having one lane on the bridge of Candler’s Mountain Road by Mayflower Drive, renovation is nearing completion, as thousands of family members and friends are expected in Lynchburg for Liberty University’s commencement ceremony.

According to Paula Jones, the media contact for Virginia Department of Transportation for Central Virginia, the rehabilitation project has been going on since April 2012. Although it will not be completely done by commencement, it will be very close.

“The expectation is that the project will be substantially complete and open to two lanes of traffic by graduation,” Jones said.

The contractors are currently preparing to pour the concrete for the deck and railing of the bridge, according to Jones.

The renovation has closed off one of the lanes of the bridge and the left-hand turn into the River Ridge Mall.

“There were significant pothole repairs that were made prior to this work,” Jones said. “It is important to remember that this work is being done to extend the useful life of this structure.”

The cost of the bridge is approximately $2.5 million. According to Jones, it is being funded by a combination of state and federal funds.

Although the bridge was being worked on during last year’s graduation, Jones said that the traffic was not affected much.

The bridge needed repairs because of the condition of the road, but Jones said the renovation is taking longer because additional repairs were needed.

The rebar, which is used for framing, had to be repaired before anything else could be done.

“Once the concrete was removed from the left lane of the bridge, additional deterioration was discovered in the rebar,” Jones said.

According to Jones, another reason it is taking longer is because the Virginia Department of Transportation closed down the construction and removed the road closures during the holiday

“I avoid that area as much as possible,” Liberty Senior Katelyn King said. “It causes such bad traffic.”

King transferred to Liberty her junior year and said she had never experienced that road without traffic.

According to Liberty’s Hancock Welcome Center, there will be buses transporting people back and forth from the River Ridge Mall to Liberty during graduation. Students, friends and family are allowed to park on campus, but any overflow can park at the mall.

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