Information about viewing the train underpass construction project on July 4

GOSHEN, Ind. – On July 4, 2012, the construction of the Winona Trail Bike and Pedestrian Underpass at Goshen College will be taking place. The City of Goshen and Goshen College have been preparing for this day for over five years since the project was first approved and funded.

Click image to view larger version of campus map (with clearly marked parking, restricted area and viewing area).

For those interested in the project, the best viewing of the project will be the live video webcast.

If someone is interested in viewing the project on site, the following information and instructions will be important to be aware of:

  • Spectators are welcome to view this construction project, but it is very important for safety and the time constraints of this project that the operators of the heavy equipment do not need to be concerned about interested spectators. Please respect the boundaries shown in the attached map and all roads and parking lots between the construction site and College Avenue, as well as all signage on July 4.
  • All parking should be in the Rec-Fitness Center (access via 12th Street) or College Mennonite Church (access via Main Street/SR 15) parking lots.
  • The driveways on campus adjacent to the railroad tracks off of College Avenue will be closed to all vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic throughout the entire day, as will the driveway west of the Music Center.
  • Visitors are encouraged to first report to the Rec-Fitness Center for information before trying to view the project. The building, which has restrooms, water fountains and vending machines available, will be open from midnight to at least 6 p.m. (longer if warranted).
  • Please remember that Goshen College is a smoke-free and alcohol-free campus. Fireworks are not allowed either.
  • The City Parks Department will be setting up misting tents and some bleacher seating will be available in the viewing area.

General schedule of events

Late Tuesday evening, July 3:

  • The last train will pass through.
  • Norfolk Southern staff will remove the signal cabling.
  • Norfolk Southern will remove approximately 100 feet of rail and ties.

Throughout the night (should be completed by mid-morning), July 4:

  • Excavation: All existing soil between the two approaches will be removed to a depth of about 18 feet below grade. This soil will be removed from the site.
  • Two drain lines will be installed connecting sumps at the base of each approach.
  • The hole will be filled to about 14 feet below grade, compacted to ensure no settling will occur.

From mid-morning until late afternoon, July 4:

  • After the exact elevation has been determined and the surface prepared, seven preformed sections of the underpass will be installed connecting the two approaches.
  • The remaining opening will be filled and compacted up to grade.

About 10 p.m., July 4:

  • Norfolk Southern will return to add new ballast.
  • Norfolk Southern will reinstall the track and signaling cable.

Sometime after midnight, July 5:

  • The first train will cross over the new underpass.

The plans
While a great deal of work has already been done to reroute utilities and prepare the east and west approaches, the passageway under the railroad must be completed in a 24-hour period while the trains are not operational. The railroad only halts their trains two days annually, Christmas and July 4.

The 10-foot, lit tunnel will allow persons on foot or on bike to cross campus even when a train is passing through (or stopped). Steps will go down from the walkway between the Good Library and Umble Center to a tunnel and then up on the other side to the Kratz-Miller Residence Halls and Connector, with a “runnel” for bikes to use and a chair lift for disabled persons that will be activated if a train is present.

The $1.8-million project is being financed by a grant to the City of Goshen through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, and the college is funding the architectural, engineering and planning costs. As much as campus members will benefit from the improvement, it will also serve wider community members who travel through campus on the Winona Bike Trail.

Next steps
After July 4, a great deal of work will remain. The construction of the stairways, installation of the wheel chair lifts, rerouting of the bicycle path and restoration of the site will need to follow. The project is scheduled for completion by November 2012.

View a virtual tour of the planned project.

Principle Contractors
DLZ Indiana LLC, Fort Wayne – Design Engineering and Onsite Field Inspection and Supervision
Northern Indiana Construction, Mishawaka – General Contractor
Niblock, Bristol – Excavation
Michiana Contracting, Inc., Plymouth – Utilities
Slussers, Inc., Logansport – Site Restoration
Michiana Lift Equipment, Inc., Mishawaka – Inclined Lift

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College Assistant Director of Public Relations Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit