Laurel Hill Tunnel's
Current Usage
Page 4

Visitors confirm the theory that a racing
team is indeed using Laurel Hill Tunnel ...

Corey Shaulis and Ross Sieber have sent this website a lot of great information and photographs from their visits to the eastern portal in the summer and fall of 2005. Their information proves that the theories of Nate Tobik and Tony Stevens are accurate.

As you can see from the photos below, the Laurel Hill tunnel entrance no longer evokes feelings similar to that of going to Disney World Florida as a child as it did during it's heyday but it now appears reminiscent of secret government and military installations such as Area 51 that you might stumble across in the vast deserts of Nevada on your way home
from a Las Vegas vacation.

The email correspondence and photos that follow were provided to this website and permission has been granted for their usage.

   
Photographs courtesy of Corey Shaulis, November 2005.

 

I currently live in Honolulu Hawaii where I work for the local NBC station KHNL, but I was born and raised in Stahlstown Pa.  In early November I took a vacation to visit my family and on Tuesday Nov. 15th I hiked to the old Laurel Hill Tunnel to see if any of my childhood graffiti is still there.  To my surprise a lot about the tunnel has changed.  As I approached from the top of the mountain heading down the steep wooded hillside, I thought I stumbled upon some secret government "Area 51" facility and feared I would be shot on site. 

 

The long arched aluminum "garage" built on to the tunnel's entrance seemed unusual but the 2 satellite receivers told me that someone is definitely currently working there.  I snapped a few pictures with my cheap camera and did my best to get down to where all the cars were parked.  At one point I saw a man outside talking on a cell phone and I hurried to get down there in time to talk to him, but he went inside before I reached the bottom. 

 

At the bottom it was very obvious what was going on:  They [appear to be] using the tunnels [4500+] foot drag strip as a place to test something that roars with horsepower and requires Hoosier Tires.

 

I had been hearing the screaming burn-outs and deep toned V8 engines blasting thru four gears at full throttle clear from the top of the hill, long before I could see where it was coming from.  But I just though a couple of local guys in a 4-wheel-drive found a way around the state's barriers and were having fun driving inside the tunnel (kinda like we used to do).

 

But with generators supplying electricity, 300 yards of added on covering, several 15 passenger vans, a few cars and trucks, a storage shed, a pile of used Hoosier Race Slicks, and two satellite receivers, someone has managed to get permission from the Department of Transportation to use that old cave as their own testing facility.

 

I would love to know more!

     Aloha, Corey Shaulis

E-mail received from Ross Sieber, 8/8/2005 ...

Hello, just stumbled across your site this morning. We set out to visit Laurel Hill over the weekend and took the difficult woods approach to the eastern portal.  Parts of the roof of the vent building have collapsed, however the building is still accessible from the ground.

A structure has been built into the tunnel, there are various items stored there, and the tunnel has been locked down. You can get into the vent building, but door to actually enter the vent shaft has been chained shut. It would be nice to find out who is actually using this property and what it's being used for. Obviously they aren't letting anyone view the property, but I would think it's possible to get them to disclose the tenant.

I have pictures from all over and around the eastern portal of the tunnel and will post them to my website later today. We did not try to find a different approach to the western portal or follow the roadway out of the eastern portal, but plan to revisit the site in the future.

   
Photographs courtesy of Corey Shaulis, November 2005.

The roof over the fan housing has collapsed now over the eastern portal of the tunnel.

   
Photographs courtesy of Ross Sieber, 2005.

Note the name on the race fuel barrel -- Sunoco Supreme ... not your ordinary gasoline.

To view all of Mr. Sieber's photos, please visit Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

   
Photograph courtesy of Ross Sieber, 2005.                                                        Photograph courtesy of Corey Shaulis, November 2005.

Looks like a giant muffler, doesn't it?

   
Photograph courtesy of Corey Shaulis, November 2005.                                                      Photograph courtesy of Ross Sieber, 2005.


    (original email shortened to focus on LHT only)
 

I came across your website today and was pleased to find so much new information about the abandoned 
turnpike. I've visited both sections several times.

I visited the Laurel Hill area a few times in 2002, both portals.  I walked up to the western portal, which had 
piles of asphalt fill outside.  At the time, I could see the light at the eastern side.  I got back in the car and 
drove to the eastern end of the bypass.  Seeing the gates to the abandoned roadway open and the lack
of a "No Trespassing" sign, we decided to drive to the eastern portal.  The eastern portal was in better shape
than the western portal.  We looked around for a few minutes before leaving.  We did not enter the tunnel or
the portal building.

In July of 2005, while on a trip to D.C., we decided to stop for another look at Laurel Hill.  This time the
tunnel had been sealed.  The fill was gone from the western end and a state police trooper was sitting at
the entrance to the abandoned roadway that leads to the eastern portal.  I got out to stretch, put some
Coke in the cooler, waved to the trooper and then got back in the car and continued on.  Obviously, whoever
the tenant is does not want to be disclosed and does not want to be disturbed. 

I'm looking forward to seeing your update, although from the photos, I'm willing to bet it is Sunoco who is leasing 
the property, especially since they operate the stations at the service plazas.

Nice website - I was laughing though when I read "but so far I have found no one who has risked fines or jail 
time to follow it" in regards to the eastern approach to Laurel Hill.  Well, that would be me - with my car! 
I wouldn't attempt it now though after seeing that trooper there!

You can post my story on your website if you wish, just let me know so I can check it out!

Thanks,
Brendan Farley
Pittsburgh, PA

                        1/6/2006

   
Photographs courtesy of Corey Shaulis, November 2005.

Visitors to the eastern portal have reported hearing generators running.  This is probably an accurate assumption because the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission would have disconnected all utilities to the tunnel following its closure in 1964.  It is doubtful that electric lines were reconnected to the tunnel, especially if the tunnel is not in continual use.

   


Front side of the steel structure -- faces the eastern portal. 



Photograph courtesy of Ross Sieber.

Ross took this picture of the "private property" sign at the eastern portal. 
Where this picture was taken is about a mile from the eastern point of reconnection to
the current turnpike.  The western portal is easily within the sight of the current turnpike.

Visitors to the western portal can be seen much easier by the authorities
as well as motorists passing by on the current turnpike alignment.

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This page was created on:  December 27, 2005.  
Last updated on:  August 09, 2014.

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