Mitchell Point Tunnel

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Inside the tunnel

The Mitchell Point Tunnel was a tunnel located towards the eastern end of the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon, United States. It existed from 1915 to 1966.

History[edit]

Looking up from the river
Entrance to the tunnel

The tunnel was designed by John Arthur Elliott, who was inspired by a tunnel similarly set into a cliff face above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.[1] It was built in 1915 and opened late in the year, the first major roadway tunnel in the United States.[2] The tunnel measured 390 feet (120 m) long, 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, and 10 feet (3.0 m) tall.[2]

In 1932, the Tooth Rock Tunnel was opened, and some traffic was rerouted to the new alignment,[3] though Mitchell Point Tunnel remained open to vehicle traffic until the early 1950s, when the road was rerouted to the base of Mitchell Point.[1] The tunnel was subsequently blocked off with debris, and remained closed until 1966 when it was destroyed as part of Interstate 84 construction.[1]

As part of the rebuilding of the Columbia River Highway into a network of trails, the Oregon Department of Transportation has considered the possibility of boring a new tunnel on Mitchell Point.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Historic Columbia River Highway Recording Project" (PDF). Oregon Department of Transportation. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Berlow, Lawrence (2015). Reference Guide to Famous Engineering Landmarks of the World: Bridges, Tunnels, Dams, Roads and Other Structures. Routledge. ISBN 978-1579580926.
  3. ^ "Tunnel Creator Honored by Scholarship". Columns - The University of Washington Alumni Magazine. March 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Mitchell Point project receives $28 million from US Dept. of Transportation". Gorge News Center. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2017.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 45°42′15″N 121°37′01″W / 45.704096°N 121.616839°W / 45.704096; -121.616839