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

Warren Taylor said…
I'm also visiting this site regularly, this web site is really nice and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts.

Popular posts from this blog

US Route 199

I was planning on driving US Route 199 for the third time this weekend.  However "external factors" have pushed my visit to US Route 199 back for the time being.  While I can't do a driving log for US Route 199 at the moment I can still write about it's history.


This blog will be slightly different from the usual flair for Gribblenation.  Generally I have a stockpile of my own road photos from which to draw from.  In the case of US Route 199 I was far more focused on hiking photos during my first two visits in 2014 and 2016 than the actual highway.  At some point I will add a series of modern driving log photos but for the time being I will draw from numerous other sources to illustrate US Route 199.


Part 1; the History of US Route 199

Present US Route 199 is a 80.05 mile highway which connects US Route 101 in Crescent City of Del Norte, California northeast to Interstate 5 in Grants Pass of Josephine County, Oregon.  US Route 199 is one of the original US Routes and …

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 108 over Sonora Pass

In the fall of 2016 and late summer of 2020 I took a series of drives over mountain passes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Both traps culminated by way of crossing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains westbound by way of the 9,624 foot Sonora Pass on California State Route 108.  
California State Route 108 ("CA 108") is a 99 mile east/west State Highway which originates at US Route 395 in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  CA 108 crosses the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the 9,624 foot Sonora Pass and terminates at CA 99 co-signed with CA 132 in downtown Modesto.  CA 108 has a 21 mile unconstructed segment which would extend it to Interstate 5 near Crow's Landing if completed.  
Part 1; the history of Sonora Pass and California State Route 108Much of the early history of Sonora Pass is described by way of two informational plaques at the actual Pass.  The first documented crossing of Sonora Pass was in October of 1841 by way of a course slightly due nor…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…