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Sideling Hill Tunnel

Sideling Hill Tunnel, 1970.  Photo used courtesy of the collection of M. Dakelman.

bulletLongest of the original seven tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike
bulletLength:   6,782 feet
bulletOne of three tunnels abandoned by the turnpike in 1964 and 1968

Located east of Breezewood, Pennsylvania, near Interstate 70

bulletFormer east-west route of Interstate 76
bulletTunnel boring work started by the South Penn Railroad
bulletOperation began with the opening of the turnpike on October 1, 1940
bulletSits about five miles east of the abandoned Ray's Hill Tunnel
bulletFour lanes of traffic narrowed to two opposing lanes at the tunnel's entrances
bulletSingle lanes of traffic in the tunnel led to many traffic jams by the early 1960's
bulletBypassing the tunnel was determined to be a better alternative to twinning the tunnel
bulletClosed to traffic on November 26, 1968 when the bypass route opened
bulletStill maintained, lit, and guarded until 1973
bulletTunnel portals were boarded up from approximately 1973 until 1988
bulletTunnel used for test unleaded fuel emissions as well as signing reflectivity testing
bulletLight is not visible from portal to portal; no interior lighting since closure 1973
bulletA slight crown (horizontal rise in elevation) occurs in the tunnel's center to allow for water drainage
bulletRaise in tunnel center causes total darkness at the tunnel's center
bulletSince October 2001, property of the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy
bulletEngineers deem the tunnel safe for passage, without fear of cave-ins
bulletFormer lettering that spelled out the tunnel's name was made of stainless steel
bulletOpen to the public for visitation -- bring a very bright flashlight
bulletNo 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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