The completion of the highway connection from Portland to Hood River through Mitchell Point was one of the most important events of that generation, so it's not surprising we find a picture like this in almost every album from the era. We can place this circa 1915 as the tunnel is complete but the roadway is not yet paved.
There is an interesting cross-like architectural detail where the railings meet the rock face. I've never noticed it before, but it appears on both sides.
I think in this day and age we would preserve that tunnel. It was quite a piece of construction.
Charlott on 12th January 2016 @ 7:01am
You can see things like architectural detail if you have a zoom feature!!
Is that a woman driver or a right hand driving car?
Wasn't there quite a bit of controversy over the demolition of this tunnel? Do you think it really was unstable or could it have been saved?
L.E. on 12th January 2016 @ 8:19am
Brother John W. who worked for ODOT at the time and until retirement always maintained that the tunnel could have been saved IF ODOT had wanted to. He believed there were valid options for building the freeway without destroying this unique feature of the old highway. And sure the tunnel had problems but so did the Mosier twins. Times have changed. It will be interesting to see how ODOT rebuilds this segment of the old highway.
Arlen Sheldrake on 12th January 2016 @ 8:38am
The car is a righthand drive.
I'm on the committee which is making recommendations about the replacement for the tunnel. I'll keep you informed as the engineers work through the options. There are still several tunnel/ bridge options in the running which would take advantage of the amazing views from up there.
Arthur on 12th January 2016 @ 11:32am
The newer road below could have been double decked or the RR moved north, the tunnel could have remained untouched. This would probably have cost less and we would not have had the traffic delays due to blasting for so many months.
The proposed bike trail tunnel may serve a purpose but will never have a fraction of the class of the original.
I remember looking up at the filled in windows and thinking what a great place for a restaurant.
Kenn on 12th January 2016 @ 5:17pm
I have long wondered if engineers take pleasure in destroying the work of their predecessors? I have seen this all over the country where new roads and or road upgrades destroy the scenic value of what was there before.
I well remember one instance when engineers were joking about how crude an old structure was until someone pointed out that the old structure had lasted 80 years while their modern replacement was only expected to last 30 and lacked even a hint of the scenic value of the earlier one.
Longshot on 12th January 2016 @ 8:45pm
Look what they did to Cellilo Falls, just to name a wonder of nature our future generation can not enjoy.
Charlott on 13th January 2016 @ 7:58am
For an interesting reading of the construction of the Tunnel, I suggest you go to "The Building The Columbia River Highway" by Peg Willis.
Bill P on 20th January 2016 @ 8:35pm