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FAST FACTS
Ray's Hill Tunnel


Ray's Hill Tunnel, western portal, 1980.  Photo by M. Dakelman

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Shortest of the original seven tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Length:  3,532 feet

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One of three tunnels abandoned by the turnpike in 1964 and 1968

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Located east of Breezewood, Pennsylvania, near Interstate 70

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Former east-west route of Interstate 76

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Tunnel boring work started by the South Penn Railroad

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Operation began with the opening of the turnpike in 1940

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Only tunnel on the turnpike that featured exhaust fans at one portal

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Eastern portal of the tunnel does not have exhaust fans

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Sits about five miles west of the abandoned Sideling Hill Tunnel

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Four lanes of traffic narrowed to two at the tunnel's entrances

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Single lanes of traffic in the tunnel led to many traffic jams by the early 1960's

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Bypassing the tunnel was determined to be a better alternative to twinning the tunnel

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Closed to traffic in 1968 when the bypass route opened

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Still maintained, lit, and guarded until 1973

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Tunnel portals were boarded up until 1988

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Roadway west of the tunnel was used to develop and test the sonic nap alert pattern ("rumble strips") now used on many U.S. highways

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Light is visible from portal to portal; no interior lighting since it's closure in 1973

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Since October 2001, property of the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy

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Engineers deem the tunnel safe for passage, without fear of cave-ins

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Former lettering that spelled out the tunnel's name was made of stainless steel

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Open to the public for visitation; walking and bicycling is permitted

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No motorized vehicles are allowed in the tunnel or anywhere on the abandoned roadway

This page was created on:  February 21, 2006.  
Last updated on:  August 09, 2014.

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Ray Plazek,