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Cormier Drive Opens

FARMVILLE – Farmville's newest street, intersecting with one of the town's busiest roads, has opened.

Cormier Drive opened Wednesday, allowing for direct motor vehicle and pedestrian access to Lancer Park off West Third Street across from Carters Flower Shop and over High Bridge Trail State Park. Or, for pedestrians, over West Third Street via a pedestrian bridge and then over the trail on the pedestrian portion of the Cormier Drive bridge.

Named to honor retired Longwood University President, Dr. Patricia Cormier, Cormier Drive is seen as a significant safety enhancement for students, and others, traveling to and from Lancer Park.

The new street removes the need for students to walk or drive through the winding industrial intersection of Southern States, W.C. Newman Co., and Buffalo Shook.

“We're ultimately going to close Grace Street,” said Ken Copeland, Executive Director of the Longwood University Real Estate Foundation, speaking of the street which has served as ingress and egress from Lancer Park. “But probably not until classes start.” That would be later this month.

Motorists are urged to be alert as they get used to the new road opening onto West Third Street, but Copeland believes there should be no problems, given the sight lines from the intersection.

“The good thing about where the bridge empties onto West Third,” Copeland said, “is that it's at the crest of the hill, with a good line of sight up and down both ways.

“It's not a blind turn-out,” Copeland said. “There is ample opportunity to tell what's coming” down West Third Street.

In addition to student housing, Lancer Park is also home to intramural and recreational fields, which have also increased the vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Town officials are pleased with the attractive design of both the pedestrian bridge, which comes out on Grove Street behind Saint Theresa Catholic Church's parish house, and the vehicular/pedestrian bridge, just east of B&G Auto Repair.

Speaking of the design two years ago, Copeland had told The Herald that “we don't want to be ugly as a stump.”

It's not.