Heroes Tunnel

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Heroes Tunnel
Heroes Tunnel.jpg
Other name(s) West Rock Tunnel (former)
Location Woodbridge, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°20′44″N 72°58′10″W / 41.3456°N 72.9695°W / 41.3456; -72.9695Coordinates: 41°20′44″N 72°58′10″W / 41.3456°N 72.9695°W / 41.3456; -72.9695
Route Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway)
Constructed Beginning March 1948
Opened November 1, 1949
Length 1,200 feet (365 m)
No. of lanes 4 (2 in each direction)

Heroes Tunnel (formerly West Rock Tunnel) is a 1,200-foot-long (365 meters long),[1] twin-tube tunnel carrying Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway) through West Rock Ridge in New Haven, Connecticut. Opened in 1949, it was said to be the only vehicular tunnel "to pass beneath a land feature" in Connecticut and all of New England.[1] However, this statement is not accurate as there are other vehicular tunnels in New England. In Vernon, Connecticut, there is a vehicular tunnel passing under a man-made land feature [2][3] and In Providence, RI, The East Side Trolley Tunnel passes under College Hill.

Originally named for the mountain through which it passes, the tunnel was renamed Heroes Tunnel in 2003 to honor "heroes of all kinds" in the post-September 11 era.[4]

The change to the name was inspired initially by the heroic actions of a local man in February 1995, his name was John Willsher - |http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/18/nyregion/remembering-a-hero-a-man-who-would-light-up-a-party.html]].[citation needed] While coming home from work he saw two boys had fallen through the ice of the Lilly Pond in New Haven, Connecticut which is a quarter mile from the Heroes Tunnel. Willsher jumped into the frozen water, saved the two boys but after they were out of danger he succumbed to a massive heart attack. In August 1995 the Governor of Connecticut John Rowland rededicated the pond to "Willsher's Pond" in John Willsher's honor and a monument was installed on Whalley Avenue near Exit 59 of the Wilbur Cross Parkway.[citation needed]

Signs are posted on the southbound road approaching the tunnel, urging drivers to remove sunglasses as a way to improve visibility. In 2015 the State of Connecticut approved $200 million to fix and expand the tunnel. From the New Haven Register

The eastbound entrance to the tunnel is featured in the opening credits of the 1958 movie "The Tunnel of Love."


News article- NY Times- http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/18/nyregion/remembering-a-hero-a-man-who-would-light-up-a-party.html

The State of Connecticut Department of Transportation has begun the process of adding a third tube to the tunnel system, which is in the planning phase.