Liberty University Vehicular Tunnel

OWNER: Liberty University Vehicular Tunnel

ENGINEER: Brierley Associates

SOUTHLAND HOLDINGS TEAM: Southland Contracting Inc.


This project was recognized as one of the best projects of the year by ENR Mid-Atlantic in 2015.

Our crews successfully completed construction of a vehicular tunnel project at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that enhances travel in and around the campus.

The project consisted of jacking two cast-in-place concrete tunnel sections, both 32 ft. wide x 20 ft. high x 130 ft. long, into an embankment under active Northern Southern Railroad Tracks to be used as a vehicular tunnel for access to Liberty University.  This jacking was actually a pulling operation in which hydraulic jacks (6 each per tunnel section) pulled steel tendons in HDPE casings that were attached from a reaction wall through the embankment through to the end of the tunnel box section wall.  These tendon casings were installed prior to the casting of tunnel box sections.  A soil nail wall and an array of spilings were installed for our support of excavation for pulling operations as well as preventing settlement to the active rail lines.  It is believed that this type of jacking operation is the first of its kind in the United States.