Liberty University Building New Tunnel
Lynchburg, VA - The next big project on Wards Road in Lynchburg is underway. Liberty University is building a tunnel for cars to drive through.
The project is estimated to cost $10 million.
The tunnel will be constructed at the intersection of Wards Road and Harvard Street.
Liberty University says they are using a cutting edge approach to build the tunnel, called jacked-boxing.
"Pull the concrete cast boxes through underneath the railroad," explained LU Planning Coordinator Brad Barber.
Barber says that by digging 24 hours a day, the digging is expected to take a little more than a week to complete and for the machines to break through the other side and create the tunnel.
"It helps us by getting the project done fast," Barber said.
A big motivator to build the car tunnel is a ramp that many travelers have labeled as dangerous.
The car tunnel means the ramp from LU's campus on to Wards Road will get shut down.
"Our deal with the railroad is to put a fence across there and stop all traffic across that," Barber said.
Joel Hicks works nearby and says the tunnel is good news. After witnessing cars pulling out too fast from LU's campus and on to Wards Road, he's says he's definitely pro-tunnel.
"We've had people that don't stop, that come off the hill from Liberty University and rear-end other cars," Hicks said.
"It's going to be a huge improvement," Barber added.
So what's the timeline for this thing?
Construction has already started for the tunnel. Construction is expected to go much faster after Labor Day when workers are scheduled to start the jacked-boxing process.
The goal is to have cars driving through the tunnel by the end of the year.