Liberty University Officials Say Wards Road Tunnel Will Help Expansion

Lynchburg, VA- We're now into the most crucial phase of Liberty University's new tunnel to Wards Road. Monday crews started the slow, but steady process of pulling giant concrete boxes through a mound of earth underneath the Norfolk Southern Railroad track.

The project is one that Liberty University officials say has to be done. Jerry Falwell Jr. says this is the only way to keep his university growing. Falwell says this tunnel may become the main entrance to campus, decreasing a lot of congestion on Wards Road because of U-turns.

The tunnel, expected to be done in mid-January, will have two sides, each with two lanes of traffic and a sidewalk for pedestrians. Falwell says it, along with another big project, will decrease traffic and noise on campus as well.

"What this tunnel does is allow us to build a new 1,400 space parking garage, it's under construction now. So most of the traffic will come into the tunnel, go directly into the parking garage and never drive around campus like it does now," said Falwell.

The construction for this tunnel is in a very delicate stage. The concrete boxes will be moving constantly over the next few weeks. LU says this is the first time ever in North America that a tunnel has been built under a railroad track like this.