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3rd and F Streets Tunnel in Lincoln’s South Salt Creek Neighborhood to get revamp

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:34 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - People in Lincoln’s South Salt Creek Neighborhood are getting a creative revamp to the tunnel under the railway at 3rd and F streets. The new project won’t be done until September, but the work is already underway.

The South Salt Creek Community, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln and the BNSF Railroad Network are all coming together to bring this project to life.

This tunnel is one of three safe ways to cross the railroad tracks for people in this neighborhood, which is exactly why the organizations agree that something has to be done.

The tunnel’s ceiling leaks, the walls are peeling and cracked and it doesn’t have adequate lighting. All of these issues project leaders say aren’t safe for kids walking to and from school and for other residents who use the tunnel to exercise and travel throughout the day.

The landscape around the tunnel is also overgrown and not kept in good condition. These organizations are also planning to redo this landscaping by installing new, fresh plants.

“It’ll be safer with the lighting and the structure of the tunnel, but also, it’ll be something that is a really good reflection of this neighborhood, its diversity and its rich history. We just want to make it more aesthetic and a more beautiful place they can take pride in,” said Veronica Cockerill, program coordinator for The Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln.

A part of the tunnel’s revitalization will also be a new mural or graffiti art by a Lincoln artist.

Project leaders 10/11 spoke with tell us that this is something they feel is long overdue for the residents living in this neighborhood. That’s why they’re starting now, hoping to leave a lasting, meaningful impact for years to come.

“Sometimes, it’s easy for community investment to go into areas where there is new development, where new houses are being built. It’s important to remember the center and the core of your community as well. I think that’s something that’s important to the residents of this neighborhood is to not feel forgotten whenever we think about the plans for the city of Lincoln,” said Justina Clark, president of the South Salt Creek Community Organization.

The final project will be presented at the 11th Annual Streets Alive Festival in September, where neighbors will come out to walk, bike, skate and run, while enjoying exhibits and getting access to healthy resources.

If you know any artists who may be interested in creating the tunnel’s new art design, have them submit an application using THIS LINK.

The deadline for artists to submit applications for the new tunnel design ends Friday, April 2nd, and the final artist will be announced in May.

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