Sun Sep 21 09:20:44 PDT 2014
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Restoration of Blue Ridge Tunnel to Begin

Sept. 19, 2014 Nelson County officials announce that a contractor has been selected for Phase I of the rehabilitation and trail project for the Blue Ridge Tunnel. Fielder’s Choice Enterprises, Inc. from Charlottesville, Virginia, has been awarded the contract. Phase I encompasses the parking area and trailhead near the old Afton Depot and the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle trail along the original rail bed for approximately 3400 feet to the East Portal of the 1850s tunnel. Work will is set to begin Monday, Sept. 29, and is scheduled to be completed by February 2015. The $749,149 award from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board through the “Transportation Alternatives” competitive grant program provides funding for Phase I construction. Funding for Phase II has also been awarded, and plans for that phase are being finalized with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Since 2001, the County of Nelson has worked with federal, state and local partners to secure funding and support for the project. "I am thrilled to anticipate the beginning of construction on the Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail after so many years of effort and planning," said Allen Hale, Nelson Co. Board of Supervisor member and President of the Crozet Tunnel Foundation. For the purposes of ensuring safety and eliminating liability, there is currently no public access to either the west portal or east portal (including no access into the Blue Ridge Tunnel itself) during the construction phases of the tunnel.

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