Whether they stand for another 50 years - … It was abandoned in the 1960s because the two tunnels along it were only one lane each way, causing massive bottlenecks. Rays Hill Tunnel is one of three original Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnels which were abandoned (this one in 1968) after two massive realignment projects. Took some graduation photos of Fiona in the abandoned highway tunnels today. It always blows me away to find massive infrastructure efforts abandoned. In this case, the Sideling Hill Tunnel and Rays Hill Tunnel were bypassed, as was one of the Turnpike's travel plazas. Dec 18, 2016 - See 3 photos from 10 visitors to Old Turnpike Tunnels. Many of the tunnels were twinned, but the two tunnels in this section were abandoned as the turnpike was rerouted around/over the hills. The Sideling Hill and Raya Hill Tunnels were routed around in 1968. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Is it legal to access the abandoned turnpike and the tunnels? The turnpike was being so heavily used that traffic congestion warranted the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to conduct studies on either expanding or bypassing the tunnels. Dave and I groaned quietly, but, too stubborn and adventerous to give up on our late-night lightbulb moment, we got up, made coffee & breakfast wraps, and wriggled into an extra layer of clothes. Despite the tunnels being abandoned and unmaintained, they are still in great structural condition. On Oct. 1, 1940, the turnpike opened to the public, drawing people from all over the country who wanted to see the modern marvel. It's amazing that the tunnels look almost untouched after standing, unmaintained, for more than 40 years. Only tunnel on the turnpike that featured exhaust fans at one portal When the PA Turnpike first opened in the 1940's it had many tunnels. The abandoned Pa turnpike is a 13 mile stretch of road that was left abandoned when the road was re-routed in 1968. Trip through the tunnels in 1953. That is where the fun comes in for us. (The third tunnel that was bypassed, the Laurel Hill Tunnel, was located further away and required only a two-mile bypass.) These abandoned tunnels were also used by PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to test rumble strips, emissions from unleaded gasoline and train maintenance workers. Two of them, Rays Hill Tunnel and Sideling Hill Tunnel, are on this deserted part. It is located at the Westmoreland/Somerset County line and was bypassed in 1964. Work began on the Laurel Hill 3.1-mile bypass on September 6 th, 1962. Three of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s original seven tunnels were victims of bypass. This left a 13.5 mile stretch of former Turnpike right-of-way abandoned along with the Rays Hill and Sideling Hill Tunnels. Tunnel boring work started by the South Penn Railroad. The two tunnels along the abandoned turnpike are the Sideling Hill Tunnel and the Rays Hill Tunnel. In fact, those tunnels, a source of awe for turnpike admirers in 1940, are now by far the creepiest part of the abandoned stretch. In 2001 ownership was given to Southern Alleghenies Conservancy with hopes that it would be turned into an official biking and walking trail. Both were sold to Southern Alleghenies Conservancy in 2001 for $1, and together they now form the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. ] 7 tunnels used to carry us through the mountains of central PA up into the 1960's. However, when traffic necessitated upgrades to the roadway, this section of road and its two tunnels were bypassed. TOPICS: abandoned abandoned pennsylvania turnpike pennsylvania turnpike Posted By: First2Board April 28, 2013 you may recall a year ago i attempted to walk through Sideling Hill Tunnel, part of the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike , but chickened out without getting very far in. 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