AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- A proposed budget amendment could help plans to convert an old tunnel into a foot and bike trail.
It may be well off the beaten path now, but the Crozet Tunnel was once the longest railroad tunnel in North America.
"When it was built back in the 1850s, it was all hand tools and black powder," said Jeff Moore, an Augusta County supervisor.
The tunnel hasn't seen a train since the 40s, but it has seen its share of visitors, that is, until you get to the concrete walls near the middle of the tunnel.
Those walls are one of the barriers to the planned trail project.
If passed, a budget amendment from the Virginia House Appropriations Committee would have VDOT use $90,000 to get rid of the concrete barriers originally put built so they could store propane inside.
Local leaders said the trails would be big for an area that already relies on outdoor activities.
"Instead of coming for a day, they can come for a couple of days. Take advantage of the history that's available within an hour, to the variety of nature that's available within an hour, and spend some recreational time riding the bike or taking a walk and seeing some of the great scenery we have here," said Greg Hitchin, Waynesboro's director of economic development.
With every step forward for the project, "It's gaining momentum," said Moore.
Being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel get a little bit closer every day.
Moore said he hopes the tunnel trail will be open and ready in the next year or so.
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