Jenny Engineering Corporation (JEC), a nationally recognized tunnel engineering firm, has won the Engineering News‐Record’s Best Project Award for the pedestrian and bike underpass project at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The new underpass consists of a new 14-ft wide pedestrian and bike tunnel. The tunnel passes under three active railroad tracks and a roadway on the University of North Carolina Greensboro campus. It provides a safe alternate route for pedestrians and cyclists and particularly for the student population on the campus. Previously only at‐grade crossings were available.
“This tunnel allows pedestrians and bikers to move safely between campus and new dormitories. One of the key challenges was to keep the railroad operations uninterrupted while the construction proceeded underneath the tracks”, said Prakash Donde, President of JEC. “We are honored to receive the award of Best Project in the Small Project category.”
JEC was responsible for the design of tunnel, the approach retaining walls, the canopy structure at the parking entrance, and providing construction administration services. JEC’s plan provided for alternatives of a prefab bridge to be replaced or roadway to be mined under. The cuts on both sides of the tunnel are supported by retaining walls. The tunnel was opened for public use in early 2014.
Judges evaluated projects based on different criteria including: Overcoming challenges and teamwork, safety, innovation and contribution to the industry and community, construction quality and craftsmanship; and functionality of design and aesthetic quality.