Underpass plan derailed for yet another year

Plans to install a railroad underpass on campus have been delayed again, adding yet another year to a project that has already been four years in the making.  The estimated installation date for the underpass is now July 4, 2012.

The delay results from complexities involving Norfolk Southern Corporation and Indiana Department of Transportation, two major companies working with the project.

The installation was originally planned to occur on July 4, 2011, a prime day for construction because the tracks would be free for 24 hours due to the holiday. As there had already been previous delays that had set the project back, Goshen College administration deliberately asked the companies if anything would possibly postpone the 2011 date. The response was “no,” leading the GC administration to anticipate this date.

However, Goshen College has now learned that paperwork differences between the companies will not allow time for the July 4, 2011 date to be met. Since Norfolk Southern will not provide another date, installation must be pushed back a full year to July 2012.

“We are disappointed by the delay,” said Jim Histand, Vice President of Finance, “This is a priority we have and would act as a major improvement to campus safety.”

The project is funded 80 percent federally and 20 percent by the college. The process involves a multifaceted interaction between the state, city, Norfolk Southern and the college.

“These are why projects like this take forever—we are working with many different entities like this, and it is complex,” said Histand.

Until the underpass is installed, students are encouraged to continue acting safely around the trains and not pass through them if they are stopped.

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Written by Becca Kraybill

Becca Kraybill is the fall Editor-in-Chief of The Record. She is a fourth-year English Writing major and enjoys waving to babies in the grocery store.

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