In an effort to improve pedestrian safety near the railroad tracks, this project was developed to create two underpass tunnels for pedestrian travel under the railroad tracks.
These tunnels will be accessed by both a stair and ramp on each side of the railroad tracks, and surrounded by new landscaping and site improvements to make the new construction blend in with the adjacent campus buildings and structures.
It is the intent for this project to create two safe pedestrian routes under the railroad tracks, to be accessible and used by the entire community.
Construction work continues with a goal of having the primary work completed by mid-summer 2017.
Security cameras, lighting and landscaping will follow after the concrete work is completed. The tunnels will not be open and accessible until all phases of the project are complete.
Pedestrian Tunnel FAQ
What will the project look like when completed?
It is our hope that CP Rail will complete their portion of the project by modifying the main track and spur line extending from Main Street to Huff Street, and will insert box culverts to create the main underpasses under the railroad tracks along the previous locations of Winona Street and Johnson Street in the coming months.
We are also anticipating Roger's Telecom, Inc., to relocate a fiber optic line running parallel to the railroad tracks at this time.
Following completion of CP Rail's work, WSU will contract with a general contractor to complete the construction of the approaches, ramps and stairs at each tunnel entrance, along with landscaping and site security improvements extending along the tracks to create a safe environment.
Will the tunnels be safe?
WSU prides itself on being a safe campus and the tunnels will reflect the same high standard of security as the rest of the campus, including surveillance cameras.
Why build tunnels?
Winona State explored options to increase safety of crossing the railroad tracks. Data show overpasses would be more expensive and would extend the footprint of the project into the street. (Each side would either require an elevator or an ADA-accessible ramp.) In the end, pedestrian tunnels are the preferred, most cost-conscious approach.