Beginning with the pilot bore, Vaughn & Melton has continuously provided construction management, inspection services, as well as design of modifications, for this landmark project. At a cost of approximately $285 million dollars, this was the largest undertaking of the Federal Highway Administration, Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division.
The project is located within the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It consisted of the construction of two 2-lane tunnels, each 4,600 feet long, through Cumberland Mountain; 10 bridges, including an award-winning steel railroad bridge in Kentucky and 2 wooden pedestrian bridges; five miles of associated roadway and approaches, including a portion of US 58 in Virginia; two interchanges; approximately 600 feet of “cut-and-cover” tunnel; and two portal buildings. There were many new technologies used in the design and construction of this massive project.
Vaughn & Melton was directly involved in establishing a new ASTM Standard for testing shotcrete, and the “soil nailing walls” used in the cut-slopes along the tunnel approaches in Kentucky and won second place in the category of “New Technology” for Highway Improvements in Federally Owned Lands. In addition to our design staff, we provided as many as seventeen construction inspectors – including a DBE sub-consultant, and supervised Federal Highway Administration Trainees. This project continues today, even though the tunnel opened to traffic in October 1996. Most recently, we provided design and installation of Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and upgraded digital cameras which provide live video feed to the Transportation Cabinet.
In 1996, Vaughn & Melton created the Cumberland Gap Tunnel Authority (CGTA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vaughn & Melton. CGTA employees a staff of 37 highly trained individuals that manage the state of the art facility. Through both in-house staff and CGTA, Vaughn & Melton has an active role in Traffic Management, Installation, and Maintenance of Information Technology systems. We provide support to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) through live video feeds and a Condition Acquisition Reporting System (C.A.R.S.) terminal from one of only four Regional Traffic Operations Centers in the state.