Big Walker Mountain Tunnel

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Big Walker Mountain Tunnel
Overview
Official name Big Walker Mountain Tunnel
Location Bland / Wythe counties, Virginia, USA
Coordinates 37°2′18.96″N 81°7′49.08″W / 37.0386000°N 81.1303000°W / 37.0386000; -81.1303000Coordinates: 37°2′18.96″N 81°7′49.08″W / 37.0386000°N 81.1303000°W / 37.0386000; -81.1303000
Route I‑77
Operation
Opened 1972
Toll None
Technical
Length 4,229 ft (1,289.00 m)
Number of lanes 4

The Big Walker Mountain Tunnel is a vehicular tunnel in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia that carries Interstate 77 through/under Big Walker Mountain. It is located at 37°2.316′N 81°7.818′W / 37.038600°N 81.130300°W / 37.038600; -81.130300, a few miles south of the town of Bland and a segment of the Appalachian Trail, and about 20 miles (32 km) south of its longer cousin, the East River Mountain Tunnel.

History[edit]

Northbound at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel

The 4,229-foot (1,288 m) tunnel was first opened in 1972 after five years of construction labor. It carried a price tag of $50 million, which at the time was the most expensive single project undertaken on Virginia's interstate system.[1] The opening of the tunnel reduced the travel time from Wytheville to Bland County by 30 minutes.[2]

Preliminary engineering studies for the project were made by Brokenborough & Watkins, consulting engineers of Richmond, Virginia, and the final design of the roadway and tunnel was by Singstad & Kehart, consulting engineers of New York City.

Detailed shot of northbound entrance

The tunnel approaches and surrounding area can be viewed from the Big Walker Lookout, a 100-foot observation tower built on a nearby peak.

References[edit]

External links[edit]