Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What is the height and width limit in the tunnel?

  2. Height is 16’6” & Width Is 32’. There are sensors on the approaches to the tunnels that detect when a vehicle is too tall to travel the tunnels. There is an alarm that notifies the driver and signals the Control Room Operator that an over-height vehicle is approaching.

  3. How many vehicles pass through the tunnel each day?

  4. More than 24,000 vehicles pass through the tunnel each day.

  5. Where do all those doors go inside the tunnel?

  6. The doors are entrances to a cross-passage from one tunnel to the other tunnel.

  7. Does the upper level of the portal buildings go through the mountain from KY to TN?

  8. No. There are administrative offices and training rooms at each portal. The buildings also house the mechanical and electrical equipment.

  9. Is there a lake under the tunnel?

  10. The mountain releases approximately 450 gallons of water every minute. The water is diverted under the roadway and back into the water’s natural course, in to Yellow Creek.

  11. Do you send speeding tickets through the mail?

  12. We have a speed monitor device that detects the speed and records the time and speed of the vehicle as it passes. We do not record the vehicle license plate number. We do, however, have 8 cameras inside each tunnel and 3 cameras outside the tunnels. Cameras are monitored 24/7 by personnel and if speeding, aggressive, or possibly intoxicated drivers are seen, the information is given to the NPS ranger via radio system. The NPS law Enforcement will hand the violation to you in person.

  13. Can you see inside the vehicle going through the tunnel?

  14. Yes, the Operator monitoring the cameras in the control Room can see inside the vehicle.

  15. Why are vehicles carrying Hazardous Materials escorted?

  16. The Cumberland Gap Tunnels are located inside the Cumberland Gap National Park. Procedures were implemented by the NPS and CGTA to inspect and escort Hazardous Materials to provide the public with safe travels through the tunnels and to maintain and protect the natural resources of the National Park. Tunnel Operators, which are certified in HazMat Awareness and Operations, document information on the material that is being transported. The Operator then visually inspects the vehicle, looking for leaks or any other possible hazards that may create a problem during the escort. If a HazMat vehicle breaks down, has an accident, or starts to leak inside the tunnel, this procedure provides the first step in response to a HazMat incident by already having the material identified. Trained personnel are on standby to limit motorist exposure and reduce the contamination of the area in the event of an incident.

  17. Which Hazardous Materials are permitted to pass through the tunnels?

  18. HazMat classes 2-8 are permitted through the tunnel. Class 1 - Explosives are prohibited.

  19. Should RV’s stop due to having propane tanks?

  20. RV’s do not have to stop for escort. We ask that the propane tanks are shut off prior to traveling through the tunnel. The purpose for this is in case there is an emergency inside the tunnel, there would not be an active line of propane from the RV.

  21. Why do HazMat trucks go through with traffic sometimes?

  22. Safety is the number one priority of CGTA, for motorists and employees. We feel it is safer for both, to allow HazMat vehicles to travel through with mainline traffic during lane or bore closures due to maintenance, or during inclement weather.

  23. Can we walk or ride a bicycle through the tunnel?

  24. Pedestrians and bicyclists are not allowed in the tunnels. They should stop at the KY/TN inspection booth and wait for an operator to transport them through the tunnel. A photo I.D. is required. If you do not have identification, Law Enforcement will be called to authorize transporting an individual.

  25. What should you do if you are involved in an accident, hit a deer, have a medical emergency or your vehicle has a breakdown inside the tunnel?

  26. Turn on your emergency flashers and stay inside your vehicle. CGTA personnel are monitoring cameras and will respond to your emergency as soon as possible. Certified Emergency Medical Technicians, Fire / Rescue Operators, and Towing Crews dedicated to tunnel emergencies, are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  27. What should you do if you are involved in an accident, hit a deer, have a medical emergency or your vehicle has a breakdown outside of the tunnel?

  28. Pull over onto the shoulder of the roadway, turn on your emergency flashers, stay inside your vehicle. CGTA personnel are monitoring cameras and will respond to your emergency as soon as possible. Certified Emergency Medical Technicians, Fire / Rescue Operators, and Towing Crews dedicated to tunnel emergencies, are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  29. How do you get a tour of the tunnel?

  30. There are no public tours of the facility. The National Park Service owns the Cumberland Gap Tunnel. The states of Kentucky and Tennessee are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility. Tours for school systems or civic groups can be scheduled by calling the Manager of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel at 606-248-0996. Private individuals can call the National Park Visitor Center 606-248-2817 for information about the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
All motorists should obey the posted speed limits and look at/obey all message signs. Please be alert and watch for CGTA employees that are out around the tunnel area.