AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- With every step deeper into the tunnel, local leaders stepped deeper into history on Wednesday afternoon.
"When you think that this work was done in the 1850s, look at it. It's just amazing," said Allen Hale, a Nelson County supervisor and president of the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation. His group is leading the effort to preserve the tunnel and he led Wednesday's tour.
Representatives from the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization toured the tunnel and received a firsthand look at what the trail project will look like.
"It'll be very similar to what we're walking on now. There will be drainage and it'll be crowned here so it slopes down to the drainage on either side," said Hale.
Before the tour, the group got an update on the plans for the Crozet Tunnel trail.
It's a bit of a hike, but Hale said that trek to and through can prove to be big for tourism.
"In addition to which it'll just be a great recreational place for all of our citizens in this area," said Hale.
He said phase one of the project is "shovel-ready". It will provide access outside the tunnel before phase two tackles the tunnel's interior.
Hale reminds us that until Phase I is completed on the eastern portal of the tunnel, the tunnel is not open to the public for safety reasons.
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