Plans set for Goshen Colleges July 4 underpass work
Posted: 07/01/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Goshen College and city officials have been planning for the tunnel’s construction for more than five years to provide access to both sides of campus even when a train is traveling or stopped on the tracks that split the college.
Construction started on the site this spring and will be complete by November, but a major piece of the work will happen Wednesday.
After the last train Tuesday passes through campus, Norfolk Southern will lift and remove approximately 100 feet of tracks so construction workers can dig into the ground and install several pre-formed structures, creating a walkway. Workers will fill in dirt around the structure and at about 10 p.m., Norfolk Southern workers will return to reinstall the tracks for trains to begin traveling again after midnight Thursday.
Once the underpass is finished this fall, stairs and a wheelchair lift on either side of the train tracks will connect to the level corridor under the tracks. The underpass will also include a “runnel” for bikes to use, according to the college.
Goshen College is welcoming people to view the quick construction work July 4, though people can also watch the activity from their homes by watching real time camera footage. That is available on the college’s website, www.goshen.edu/pr/underpass.
For people who want to watch the 24-hour installation of the underground walkway in person, Goshen College has set up boundaries and guidelines for the day.
Because of the time constraints of the project and to ensure the safety of the construction workers, much of the area on campus from Ninth Street east and between the buildings just west of the underpass site will be restricted to spectators. People should follow all other instructions and signage at the site as well.
People can view the construction from the lawn just west of the dorms on campus, according to a press release from the college.
Spectators should park either in the Recreational-Fitness Center parking lot, via 12th Street, or College Mennonite Church’s parking lots, accessible from Main Street. People should first visit the Rec-Fitness Center for information before heading over to watch the project, according to the college. There are also restrooms, water fountains and vending machines in that building Wednesday from midnight until at least 6 p.m.
The Goshen City Parks Department will also be setting up misting tents and some bleachers for spectators.
According to the college, Norfolk Southern only ceases train traffic two days a year: Christmas and July 4.
There could be consequences to not completing the work in time.
Mary Cripe, Goshen city engineer, said the construction company could be fined up to $5,000 for every hour beyond the schedule the work takes that day.
A YouTube video of a model of what the tunnel will look like in general is available by searching “Goshen College underpass” on YouTube.com.
For more information on the underpass and details about the July 4 construction piece, visit www.goshen.edu/pr/underpass.