CHRISTIANSBURG — One part of an $8.5 million project to make significant changes to North Franklin Street is slated to be complete Monday.

Beginning Monday, the lanes along the North Franklin corridor near the Cambria Street intersection will be realigned to reflect the normal traffic patterns that existed prior to construction, according to an update of the project on Christiansburg’s website.

Access to Trinity Community Church will be restored, but southbound access from North Franklin to Central Avenue will be permanently closed. Also permanently closed will be the direct southbound entrances from North Franklin to the Christiansburg Recreation Center and the Food Lion shopping center.

Mostly funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Scale program — with Christiansburg contributing $12,968 — the project will make some significant changes to the portion of North Franklin between Cambria and Independence Boulevard. Town officials have said the project is intended to improve traffic flow in a part of town that regularly experiences backups.

Other key improvements to come include the addition of a new intersection and traffic light between the U.S. 460 interchange and the North Franklin and Cambria intersection. That addition will allow drivers — whether they are coming from the mall, Blacksburg or Interstate 81 — to turn right or left on Cambria.

The road for the new intersection has been paved, but that part of the project is still being worked on.

Another key change is the addition of a traffic light at the intersection of North Franklin and a road that will replace Patrick’s Way — the road right in front of the Waffle House.

Other changes include the addition of sidewalks on both sides of North Franklin between Cambria and Independence.

In May, town officials said the entire project is expected to take about a year to complete.

In other Christiansburg road projects, work also continues on the intersection of Roanoke Street and Falling Branch Road.

The $1.8 million project will lead to the addition of a new traffic light at Roanoke Street’s intersection with Falling Branch and the new Gateway Plaza Shopping Center entrance.

While the traffic light is not in operation yet, some of the posts have been erected. The shopping center entrance, however, is open.

Owned by Hash Group LLC — a real estate firm affiliated with Shelor Motor Mile — one of the Gateway Plaza’s most visible tenants is a Food Lion.

Of that project’s $1.8 million budget, $678,350 is from a matching-fund program under VDOT. The shopping center’s owner is also contributing $150,000 toward the project.

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