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Cumberland Gap Tunnels

Value engineering studies on the structural design and ventilation design; specification and on-site inspection services.
Estimated cost: Commencement:
September 01, 1990
Completion date:
December 30, 1994
330 W Broadway St # 264
Tennessee, KY 40601
United States
Technical data:

Twin tube highway tunnels, 12 m x 9 m x 1249 m long. Constructed using NATM support categories Type I through IV. Remedial waterproofing system installed between shotcrete linng and final cast-in-place concrete lining.

Geology description:

Quartz sandstone, siltstone, shale, mudstone (natural caverns).

Geology types:
Bid cost: Final cost:
$85 million USD
Service areas:

The Cumberland Gap Tunnels are two dual-lane highway tunnels with a length of 1300m each, connecting Kentucky and Tennessee through the Cumberland Mountains. Because of the complex, variable geology and economic considerations, the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) was chosen. The tunnel design included five excavation and support classes with rock dowels, lattice girders and reinforced shotcrete as primary lining. The final lining for the twin tunnels and 13 cross passageways was designed as cast-in-place (CIP) concrete with a flexible membrane waterproofing system.

North portal
Cross passage CIP lining reinforcement and exposed waterproofing
Waterproofing System and CIP Final Lining
Tunnel Top Heading Excavation
Halmer Hans
Typical Cross Section
North Portal
Top Heading Excavation
Waterproofing Membrane and Reinforcement
Finished Waterproofing System and Final Lining
Cross Passage CIP Lining Reinforcement
oncoming traffic from manwalk in southbound tube of Cumberland Gap Tunnel. Taken in Sept 2002 by N. Wageley
Finished South Portal, Cumberland Gap Tunnels, KY/TN Taken 09-2002 by N. Wageley (film)