Blue Ridge (Crozet) Tunnel Restoration



The Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel, located at Afton Mountain in Nelson County, VA, is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Upon its completion in 1858, this 4,273-linear-foot tunnel was considered the longest in the world.


Decades of neglect led to severe deterioration throughout the tunnel. Nelson County desired to restore the tunnel’s functionality and historic qualities, as well as incorporate a pedestrian trail (with associated amenities).


Nelson County selected Woolpert to develop construction plans for the tunnel’s restoration and preservation. Woolpert’s team of surveyors and engineers jumped into action, providing 3D laser scanning, conceptual design and construction cost estimating services. The team also helped Nelson County identify potential grant funding opportunities.


The Woolpert-prepared 3D model was essential to developing all construction and bid documents for the tunnel rehabilitation, as well as the two parking areas and 6,000 linear feet of trail outside the tunnel. The county obtained funding through a VDOT Enhancement Grant and a TIGER II Grant, also prepared by Woolpert.


The tunnel’s ongoing construction is expected to conclude in 2020, at which time the public will have access to the historic site, a new park and hiking trail. All rehabilitation designs were developed and constructed in accordance with VDOT standards.

Nelson County, VA

Nelson County, VA

Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, Central Virginia Chapter of WTS International, 2015


  • Restore the tunnel’s historic qualities
  • Incorporate a pedestrian trail and parking amenities


  • Construction plans based on 3D model


  • Surveying
  • 3D Laser Scanning
  • 3D Modeling
  • Structural Design
  • Trail Design


  • Pedestrian access to tunnel
  • VDOT-compliant plans
  • Grant funding

Press Release: Woolpert Innovators Recognized for Blue Ridge Tunnel Project