LU's Wards Road Tunnel Underway

Lynchburg, VA - Construction is underway for Liberty University's new tunnel, connecting the west side of campus to Wards Road.

LU's moving earth to make way for progress.

"It is about safety of the kids and about convenience of getting access to Liberty University to and from," explained Charles Spence, the Director of Planning and Construction.

This is the third tunnel project he's overseen for the school, but this method is the first of its kind.

"That process has never been done in the United State to our knowledge," Spence added.

Instead of going over or around Norfolk Southern's train tracks, they're going through.

Crews are going to pull two concrete boxes underneath the railroad crossing, connecting LU to Wards Road.

It will come out at the Harvard Street intersection, the same major artery used by students at Central Virginia Community College.

The school says they'll add turning lanes to the northbound and southbound sides, though, which is expected to improve traffic flow.

"It'll eliminate just a ton of U-turns that happen all up and down Wards road. Which really in our opinion makes the roads a little bit safer," Spence said.

Julio Ortiz, a junior knows about the dangers of the current entrance first-hand.

"I've seen so many accidents right here. I've actually been hit myself," Ortiz said.

Ortiz's car still wears the battle scars to prove it.

The tunnel won't be up and running until after the first of the year.

It will cost the university roughly $10 million, money students and staff here say is well worth it.

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