Contractors building the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's $5.8-million Railroad Pedestrian Underpass had to coordinate their work with a high volume of rail traffic through the project, which links the school's core campus and a mixed-use development that includes student housing, retail and a 225,000-sq-ft recreation center.
The 30,600-sq-ft project consists of a north plaza; a 166-linear-ft, 14-ft-wide pedestrian and bicycle tunnel beneath a two-lane road and three active railroad lines; and a 16,000-sq-ft south plaza.
For the north plaza, crews built a new ramp from the campus street elevation down to the tunnel. The ramp is flanked by new cast-in-place walls with brick veneer and precast caps, which support an existing campus street on the east side and a new parking lot on the west side.
Contractors relocated multiple utilities, including sanitary sewer, domestic water, natural gas, electrical duct bank and overhead electrical lines.
Atop the 166-ft-long, 15-ft-tall cast-in-place concrete tunnel structure, crews used concrete form liners to create a pyramid texture on its curved roof and a horizontal wave texture on the walls. To build the tunnel, crews coordinated their work with 34 daily trains passing overhead, with some traveling at up to 79 miles per hour.
Best Small Project — University of North Carolina at Greensboro Railroad Pedestrian Underpass, Greensboro, N.C.
Contractor New Atlantic Contracting, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Owner University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Architect Wagner Murray Architects, Charlotte
Structural Engineer Jenny Engineering Corp., Springfield, N.J.