Aside from the Interstate, Main Street in Bridgewater is the busiest street in Rockingham County on a per-lane basis. The Bridgewater Superintendent says that 17,000 to 18,000 cars per lane travel down Main Street, and that's a lot of traffic for a small town, but a bypass that has been talked about for decades may finally become a reality.
"Well, it's pretty congested," said Larry Hoover, a Bridgewater resident.
And it's been that way since the mid 80s, says Bridgewater Superintendent Bob Holton. He says the traffic isn't just Bridgewater residents.
"The traffic on Main Street isn't really generated that much by Bridgewater citizens. We have about 7,000 that come from northern Augusta County through town. We have a lot of people that come from the east that go to and from jobs," said Holton.
VDOT earmarked $600,000 for some preliminary engineering and environmental studies in the area where a possible bypass would reduce traffic and also serve as an alternate route for trucks.
"There's a really strong possibility something is going to go, and if nothing else, we need to set a corridor aside. It may look like we're not there yet where we build it, but this is where we want to do it when in fact we do do it," said Don Komara, a VDOT representative.
Even if a route is approved, Holton says it won't be years until VDOT will start breaking ground.
"Right now funding is a little limited. Someday funding will return," said Holton. "These plans will probably be sitting on a shelf in Richmond, and when funding is available, then it will get built."
VDOT is going to study several locations in Bridgewater. After all of the research is done, a public hearing on the proposed routes will be held late this fall. The VDOT spokesperson says he encourages anyone who will be affected by the bypass to come out and voice their opinion.