This classic view of the Mitchell Point Tunnel on the Columbia River Highway captures its graceful delicate nature. John Eliot, the tunnel engineer, was very proud of the fact that while the Axenstrasse which served as his inspiration needed to use masonry to form the adits (windows), his tunnel created them by retaining the original rock face of the cliff. Looking at this image it's hard for me to understand how they managed to move so much rock without breaking those delicate spars between the adits.
This image is courtesy of ODOT.
Obvious why traffic lights for one way traffic were needed as traffic increased, a truck definately needed the center. Some of the conduit for the lights remains on the east end. I remember going through red or not on motorcycle, not much traffic and adits to take refuge in ~
Kenn on 21st February 2019 @ 7:09am
Looks like there would be a lot of work for jackhammers.
Buzz on 21st February 2019 @ 7:13am
I read somewhere, I think..that the first car through was a Mitchell car?
L.E. on 21st February 2019 @ 7:48am
I'm so sad I never got to see this one in person. It's stunning. Also looks impossibly delicate, and like there's an aaawwwful lot of ammunition waiting to drop from that ceiling onto cars below. I can't wait to see the new one they build there, eventually. It won't have this much natural light, though.
Kyle on 21st February 2019 @ 8:26am
Such a shame that when they built the new highway they just blew that up!
Andrew B on 21st February 2019 @ 10:47am
For years drove by on the new two lane looking up at the rocked in windows. My thought was living quarters in a portion and the remainder a restaurant with great views. When time for four lanes, instead of double decking or more fill they spent what seemed like a year blasting back into the cliff.
Kenn on 21st February 2019 @ 3:30pm
The ODOT historian looked up this automobile in the registration records. 1920 license # 7798 was a 1917 REO touring car registered to the Oregon State Highway Commission out of Parkdale.
Arthur on 21st February 2019 @ 4:36pm
I thought the car might be a REO. It looks very much like WAAAM's 1913 REO 5th Edition Touring car :)
Dale Nicol on 22nd February 2019 @ 7:04am
From September 6, 1915 Oregonian page 8
CAR GOES THROUGH TUNNEL
Connection with Mitchell's Point Road Made During Night
Hood River, Or., Sept. 5....The old wagon road over Mitchell's Point was closed to traffic today and a crew of the Standifer-Clarkson Company's men began cutting an excavation across it to connect the new Columbia Highway at this point with the recently completed viaduct and tunnel. This cut will be completed in the night and at 7 o'clock in the morning the state will officially accept the new work, and it will be thrown open to traffic.
Labor day will be observed.......
......Shortly after noon today H.W. Mitchell of the Mitchell Motorcar Company, of Portland, was permitted to drive his automobile over the viaduct and through the tunnel, the first car to pass over the entire distance of the new Mitchell's Point Work.
L.E. on 23rd February 2019 @ 2:12pm