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Construction begins on pedestrian tunnel

September 26, 2011 : Liberty University News Service

The pedestrian tunnel will give students access to Wards Road from campus.

Liberty University has been actively working on keeping students’ safety a priority with the construction of a pedestrian tunnel from campus to Wards Road.

Students will be able to reach the tunnel from a walkway behind the Vines Center. It will be dug under the railroad tracks and empty out by The Vitamin Shoppe on Wards Road, with easy access to the new pedestrian bridge.

“We know all of the students want to go over to Wards Road, but it is a huge safety factor with the train tracks,” said Maggie Cossman, a corporate engineer in Liberty’s Planning and Construction department. “The students' safety is the main driving force for the completion of the tunnel.”

Crews began the project on Sept. 21. It is scheduled to be open for use by mid-November.

In order to dig the tunnel, a metal encasement pipe, referred to as a “shield,” is being pushed through to remove the dirt. Crews are expected to dig anywhere from 5 to 50 feet a day, depending on weather halting the process to allow for trains to cross.

When it is completed, the tunnel will be about 160 feet long, 8 feet high and about 8 feet wide.

The tunnel will look much like the East Campus pedestrian tunnel when it is completed.