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Contact: John Burke, Cumberland Gap Tunnel Authority, (606) 248-0996
On June 22nd, 2007, eighteen delegates from throughout Eurasia, including Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Azerbaijan, participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) for Road Construction toured the Cumberland Gap Highway Tunnel in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and were provided an orientation to the park and tunnel operations by Superintendent Mark Woods and Tunnel Manager John Burke. Since its opening in October 1996, numerous delegations from throughout the world have toured the tunnel. The tunnel project was a massive design and construction task combining many areas of engineering expertise with innovative construction techniques, which resulted in the creation of twin vehicular tunnels, each nearly a mile in length. The project proved to be one of the Federal Highway Administration’s and National Park Service’s most challenging projects. The completion of the tunnels allowed the NPS to reroute traffic away from the historic Cumberland Gap, the nation’s first doorway to the west, and restore the Gap as closely as possible to its late 1700’s.