The US 25 E Cumberland Gap Tunnel: History Construction and Operations

APA North Carolina Chapter


Friday, March 29, 2019
11:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. EDT

Asheville, NC, United States

CM | 1.50

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This field trip will take attendees from Asheville, NC to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel on US 25E at the Kentucky-Tennesee border. A 1.5 hour overview of the tunnel history and operations will be provided.  Attendees will learn about the challenges of tunnel operations & maintenance including the following topics:

-Design & construction for improved tunnel operations

-Incident response & maintaining safe traffic flow

-Safety & fire protection procedures

The Cumberland Gap Tunnel opened to highway traffic on October 18, 1996. The tunnels on US 25E at Cumberland Gap are located in the Cumberland Mountains of the Appalachian Range, where the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia converge.

Pioneers such as Dr. Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone first discovered the “Wilderness Trail”, opening the western territory to settlers and pioneers. Cumberland Gap was known as the “Gateway to the West”. With the opening of the tunnel, the Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road were restored; and visitors are now able to gain the perspective of the early travelers. The Cumberland Gap Tunnel uses a variety of technology to monitor, direct and respond to traffic. A control room operator watches several monitors in order to locate any potential problems which may arise outside or within the tunnels. The control room operator has direct contact with all employees and is able to control the variable message signs through the Vanguard Traffic Control System.


Robert Morrison

Robert Morrison is the Tunnel Manager for Cumberland Gap Tunnel and oversees day-to-day operations, real-time traffic control, incident response & safety procedures for the tunnel facility. Read More

Contact Info

Erica Anderson,