Some property that has been owned by the railroad since the 1800s is now in Liberty’s hands.
Liberty University purchased 7 acres from Norfolk Southern in August. The property runs alongside Regents Parkway, the new perimeter road on campus. It starts at Mile Marker 178 and heads south along the railroad about half a mile.
Lee Beaumont, LU’s director of auxiliary services, said the land was extra right-of-way for the railroad when they serviced the Ericsson complex, now Campus North.
He said Liberty bought the land to accommodate Regents Parkway and two building pads for future maintenance buildings, freeing up more classroom space at Campus North.
It was also purchased so Liberty could have an entrance to future tunnels to be built from the LU side.
In all, there are three tunnels planned to run under the railroad tracks to Wards Road (U.S. 29), as outlined in the school’s master plan: two tubes serving as vehicular tunnels (an ingress and egress near Harvard Street) and a pedestrian tunnel down below the Vines Center.
The tunnels must be approved by Norfolk Southern and may take two to three months to approve, Beaumont said. Construction of the tunnels is expected to start this spring.
To view the school’s five-year master plan, click here.