Skip to main content

A visit to the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike - October 2004

In October 2004, Pennsylvania Highways webmaster and friend of the blog, Jeff Kitsko, hosted a road meet centered on the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike in Breezewood.  I was fortunate to attend.  What is unique about this trip to the abandoned highway is that we actually were able to drive on the old turnpike 36 years after it was bypassed.  We also were able to walk into the offices and ventilation areas of the tunnels for a unique perspective of the old highway.  Co-blogger Doug Kerr also was at the meet and some of his photos are included below.

From the start of our trip in Breezewood and looking back towards the Breezewood Interchange and the start of the abandoned Turnpike.  (Doug Kerr)
Entrance to the western portal of Ray's Hill Tunnel.  At a length of only 2,532 feet, only one set of exhaust fans - at the eastern portal - was needed.
After exiting the tunnel, autumn traveling motorists journeyed through a chute of color towards the Sideling Hill Tunnel, then the longest in the system.
Near the western portal of Sideling Hill is this stone culvert built for the South Penn Railroad.
A look inside the Sideling Hill Tunnel.  You can see why many bikers and walkers decide to turn around and not make it to the other side. (Doug Kerr)
A view from the upstairs offices located inside the western portal of the Sideling Hill Tunnel.  The cars give a great demonstration of how two lanes of Turnpike traffic would merge into one entering the tunnel.
Inside the Sideling Hill Tunnel and doorway leading to upstairs. (Doug Kerr)
Graffiti is rampant inside the tunnel.  (Doug Kerr)
Looking back towards the eastern portal of Sideling Hill Tunnel, which is over 6700 feet long!
A look at the abandoned pike from near the site of the former Cove Valley Travel Plaza.

Site Navigation:
Sources & Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 85

Last week I had the opportunity to try out several Bay Area roadways.  The first route on my list was California State Route 85 from CA 17 west to US Route 101.






CA 85 is an approximately 24 mile freeway starting at US 101 in San Jose which loops back to US 101 in Mountain View.  I drove the entire route back in 2016 but my recent trip had me starting CA 85 at about the mid-way point in Los Gatos from CA 17 northbound.





CA 85 west of CA 17 briefly skirts the City limits of San Jose before entering Saratoga.





CA 85 dips back into the westernmost limits of San Jose at De Anza Boulevard.  De Anza Boulevard was part of the original surface alignment of CA 9.





CA 85 in Cupertino is the location with the junction with I-280.  The section of CA 85 north of I-280 is the original part of the freeway which means there is plenty of button-copy shields still posted.











CA 85 briefly dips into Sunnyvale before entering Mountain View.   CA 85 encounters CA 82 which runs on the El Camino Real which obvious…

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  The prior two years I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from that time period and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.






This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were largely located…