Saturday, September 6, 2008

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America leads to... Whittier? Yep, the tunnel connects the port city of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway and Southcentral Alaska. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel or the Whittier Tunnel (as we call it) is 13,300' or 2.5 miles long. That is pretty darn impressive. I also understand, that one of its landmark accomplishments is that it is the first U.S. tunnel that is designed for -40° F. weather and 150 mph winds. Yep, we get some of those. Traffic shares the tunnel with the Alaska Railroad, and so we often wait an hour or less to enter. Just recently, as we were waiting to enter the tunnel to continue on our trip home, we marvelled about what it took to build this tunnel so long ago (the original tunnel was completed in 1943). It boggled our minds. Pioneers everywhere had to be tough, but Alaskan pioneers...well they must have been a rough bunch.
Happy boys, anticipating our entrance to the tunnel.
Maynard mountain and the tunnel looming ahead.

Going in...

and just about through.

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