This image was provided by ODOT Photo/Video. It was taken in January as they were surveying Eagle Creek fire damage, but it also gives a great perspective on the important transportation corridor. You can see the railroad with its "hidden tunnel" burrowing under Tooth Rock, the 1915 highway route around it, the 1937 auto tunnel through the rock, and the I-80N/I-84 viaduct to bring the westbound lane around the rock. Some pretty impresive engineering to squeeze all this in that corridor.
The heat and intensity of the fire in this area required ODOT to do considerable tree removal and rock scaling to make the interstate safe for travel. They haven't finished the work yet for the Historic Highway State Trail.
Tags: 2010s Columbia_River Columbia_River_Highway fire I84 ODOT railroad Tooth_Rock tunnel
Great picture! When I first saw this, I thought maybe it was an old B&W photo that had been colorized - something about the colors seems a bit off, like those old colorized post cards. Are those logging roads we see on the hillside in the upper right corner?
kmb on 26th March 2018 @ 7:36am
As I zip along I-84 I did not realize I pass over the top of a railroad tunnel.
Looking at the 1937 photo, the rock is very visible. Has some of it been blasted away, or is it just covered with trees making it less visible?
L.E. on 26th March 2018 @ 8:02am
I appreciate the Gorge geology I learn at this site; had never heard of Tooth Rock. Are the Pillars of Hercules, shown in an earlier post, at the west end of Rooster Rock park or are those Rooster Rock and another formation?
Reminder: Come share your memories or questions about the Heights at the Community Conversation at the museum today at 2 pm.
cg on 26th March 2018 @ 8:14am
Neat picture. Combines over 100 years of history.
Buzz on 26th March 2018 @ 8:36am
The earliest road does not show, the wagon road is through the gap south of the two tooth rocks and still passable. I have cleared it annually but have doubts for how much longer can do so. .
Kenn on 26th March 2018 @ 8:41am
The road you see to the upper right is BPA powerline access.
Kenn, I'll send you a wider shot when I have a chance so you can see if you can pick out the wagon road. I don't think I can see it.
Arthur on 26th March 2018 @ 8:47am
The bit of the wagon road shows above the viaduct as it approaches the teeth behind the trees to the east ~
Kenn on 26th March 2018 @ 8:55am
Was that part of the old highway ever open?
nels on 26th March 2018 @ 9:00am
just WOW.....what an amazing tangle, what amazing engineering feats, great history, great location, great memories.....just want to just sit and study every detail of this picture. a classic example of why UP would like to add a longer siding in the Mosier area......double track the Gorge, sure, like this choke point, no chance.
Arlen Sheldrake on 26th March 2018 @ 10:02am
This is my first view of the fire damage - as well as all the spider web of transportation on this stretch of the highway. I am old enough to remember driving to Hood River on the old road when it was the ONLY road, and I've driven the new highway many times but like L.E. I had no idea of the tunnel underneath. Fascinating bit of history.
Jill Stanford on 26th March 2018 @ 1:27pm
Arthur, is there any chance you can show a zoom in to point out Ken's description of the old road? What an amazing and complex picture - so much going on.
nels on 27th March 2018 @ 7:54am
Some history of the early roads through this area. I think it talks about the early road that Kenn mentions.
L.E. on 27th March 2018 @ 10:10am
I went to Eagle creek about 5 days before the fire to take a picture of that petrified log by the trailhead. The forest service had the trail closed at the trailhead (not a few miles up) but at the "trailhead". I always figured they bowed to public pressure and reopened it to the public because of the holiday. The public never hears that part of the story. I got some good "before" pictures.
Dave John on 15th May 2018 @ 8:23pm