Slide blocks Cumberland Gap road weeks before busy season

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

For weeks, the main road into the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee has been blocked. The damage to the road is extensive, so there's concern in the town about its effect on the upcoming fall tourist season.

The road through downtown Cumberland Gap seems a bit quieter than usual.

"The road being closed is a concern, but we have two entrances," said John Ravnum.

Ravnum runs the general store in town. He said it's been a rough few months, but business owners are looking forward to the fall.

"We've gone through the flood and the landslide, and now we're ready for the tourists and all the other things," said Ravnum.

"We don't want the road slide to defer anyone," said Cumberland Gap Mayor John Douglas.

But tourists may have difficulty getting here. The first entrance to the Gap is blocked and has been for weeks.

Work was going on at a site along the road. Some who live in the area believe that may have caused the slide that split the road into.

Huge pieces of asphalt are all that's left behind.

"Yeah we're concerned what's going to happen in the next couple of months," said William Fortner.

Fortner and his wife just opened a shop in town. He said they are hopeful tourists will find the Cumberland Gap this fall despite an obvious road block.

The second entrance to the town of Cumberland Gap is just a quarter-mile past the first entrance on Highway 58, right before you get to the Virginia state line.

There's no timeline yet for repair of that roadway.

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