- Rays Hill Tunnel
Ray's Hill Tunnel is one of three original
Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnels which were abandoned (this one in 1968) after two massive realignment projects. The others included the Sideling Hill Tunnel, and further west, the Laurel Hill Tunnel. The reason for abandonment was because it was thought to be less expensive to realign the Turnpike than to bore a second tube for four lane traffic.
From the Turnpike's opening in
1940until the realignment projects, the tunnels were bottlenecks due to reduced speeds with opposing traffic in the same tubes. Four other tunnels on the Turnpike - Allegheny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, and Blue Mountain - each had a second tube bored, as it was determined in these instances to be the less expensive option. All of the original tunnels were part of the never-completed South Pennsylvania Railroadwhich history has dubbed "Vanderbilt's Folly."
Ray's Hill Tunnel is 3532 feet (1077 meters) long. It was the shortest of the seven original tunnels on Pennsylvania Turnpike. Due to its short length, it only contains ventilation fans at its western portal. Its eastern portal is the only one of the 14 tunnel portals on the original turnpike that has no ventilation fan housing.
Since 2001, this tunnel, like the
Sideling Hill Tunnelfive miles to the east, has been incorporated into a public bicycle/walking trail. At the present time, the tunnels remain unlit and unimproved since their closure in 1968. The entire length of the bypassed section is now commonly known as the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.
* [http://www.gribblenation.com/breezewood/rayshill.html Gribblenation's page about Rays Hill Tunnel]
* [http://www.abandonedturnpike.com More information about Rays Hill Tunnel]
* [http://www.septempontia.org/wiki/Ray's_Hill_Tunnel SeptemWiki about Rays Hill Tunnel]
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