Burnside Tunnel

    Burnside Tunnel

    The Burnside Tunnel carried US Route 27 in the vicinity of the Cumberland River in Burnside, Kentucky.

    The new Cumberland River bridge and adjoining 182-foot-long tunnel, completed at the cost of $40,000, were dedicated by officials of the State Highway Commission and civic leaders on November 12, 1931. 1 Following the usual assortment of speeches, three girls, one each from Somerset, Burnside, and Monticello, cut into three bits a white ribbon held tight over the south approach. A formal procession followed that was headed by a stagecoach drawn by four black horses, followed by an old covered wagon, two men on horseback, a selected group of pedestrians, and an automobile that symbolized the modern mode of highway travel. The stagecoach was used until 1916 to provide regular public conveyance between Burnside and Monticello and was the last stagecoach line to operate in the state. The new

    Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River Harbor Act of 1946 as part of a comprehensive plan to develop the Cumberland River basin, Wolf Creek Dam was constructed between 1941 and 1951 in Russell County. The damming of the Cumberland River formed Lake Cumberland and required the construction of seven new highway and railway bridges across the impoundment. The circa 1931 tunnel was abandoned on March 31, 1951, when a new high-level crossing of Lake Cumberland was completed. 2


    • State: Kentucky
    • Route: US Route 27
    • Type: Tunnel
    • Status: Abandoned / Closed
    • Total Length: 182 feet
    • Roadway Width: 24 feet


    1. Trout, Allan. “Toll Bridge at Burnside is Dedicated.” Courier-Journal [Louisville], 13 Nov. 1931, pp. 1-11.
    2. “Four Lake Cumberland Bridges to be Opened Formally Today.” Lexington Herald, 31 Mar. 1951, p. 7.

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