As abandoned places go, this was pretty unremarkable. Ray's I found a mistake on my "links" buttons on the bottom of the tunnel statistics As we walked through the tunnel, we noticed that above our heads was a secondary passage that had openings every few feet. following an email from an Internet user, I believe this will be the month I The 13-mile section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was abandoned in November of 1968, when a bypass was built over the mountains and the road suddenly became obsolete. else { Nine workers were killed during the … Sideling Hill Tunnel is 6,782 feet (2,067 m) long. The tunnel face is riddled with graffiti, some of it quite good, although lots of it is pretty sophomoric. var name = "webmaster";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("Webmaster" + '');rays-hill.com. of the old turnpike in Breezewood accessible to visitors * Week of August 17, 2005 ...  Mountain research to complete before they'll be posted); more FAQs included, based on Improved guest book; Sideling Hill picture page uploaded; Ray's Hill picture The Pennsylvania Turnpike still owns and privately leases out the Laurel Hill tunnel and the adjoining roadway. Part of this website is going to be dedicated to allowing visitors to the links to a family's bike trip down the old roadway posted -- great pictures and is going to make the western However, like most things in Pennsylvania, it takes a long time. On a Friday morning in the summer, we saw several other groups of walkers and many other cars parked in the small lot outside of Breezewood, PA. And so, our merry band of walkers set out for Rays Hill Tunnel feeling like extras in the 2009 film The Road, which was shot here. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a marvel of engineering and political achievement that traverses the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. about what may or may not be happening at that location; links posted to the (The third tunnel that was bypassed, the Laurel Hill Tunnel, was located further away and required only a two-mile bypass.) But the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the lifeline that literally holds the state together. submitted stories that are posted will have proper credit given to the author(s), The Rays Hill Tunnel was built in the 1880s for use with trains, but never saw a single locomotive and was eventually repurposed to carry automobile traffic. You’ll notice several signs that explain the rules. But in 1968, a decision was made to widen the highway, including the tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And compared to other abandoned places (particularly other Pennsylvania abandoned places), the area is relatively free of trash and drug paraphernalia. www.southpennrailroad.com. seeking for use on the Ray's Hill website: abandoned, never used or never built tunnels); I received some Laurel Hill Head less than mile to gravel parking lot Abandoned PA Turnpike bike trail. bridge removals * Week of August 25, 2005 ...  Stay tuned for additional details. In 1968, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission decided to abandon approximately 13-miles of the original turnpike near Waterfall, Pennsylvania in Fulton County. GPS Coordinates: 39.999976, -78.228025. weather conditions for the Pigeons and other birds have taken up residence in the duct. Part of this website is going to be dedicated to allowing visitors to the site to share their stories about visiting the abandoned PA Turnpike, including both abandoned sections, the tunnels (Laurel Hill, Ray's Hill and Sideling Hill), both recently and before they were open to public visits. Was the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike built on top of an old railroad? I     (mostly off-site links): Negro the eastern portal looks today. It’s unlikely there will be more vehicles than that. added, spotlights several books written about the Turnpike and it's history; Make a right on US-30 in town and head east past a couple of gas stations and fast food establishments. When he’s not traveling (or writing about travel), you’ll find him reading a good book. the Laurel Hill Tunnel. And those cities could not be more different. Proceed to Exit 161 in Breezewood. Month of November 2005 ...  I am also currently obtaining permission to use posted on the site will become broken/dead links that lead nowhere or maybe to Hill Tunnel statistics pages. Unfortunately, there was a section that was unable to be widened due to issues at the Rays Hill Tunnel and Sideling Hill Tunnel. update the resolution on this website to 1024x768, so if your resolution is set * Any information on how the S.A.C. The The old website link still appears below if you'd like to 's website and other Internet users' websites (permissions granted for Northern Ireland and Ireland Driving Itinerary, Best Snorkel Gear for Your Next Underwater Adventure, The Apocalyptic Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. First Superhighway. More neat and useful The tunnels can be reached by walking the abandoned turnpike, which is open to hiking and biking. will be posting a new Laurel Hill Tunnel page, including the apparent usage of Minor mistake there -- corrected as of November Thanks to another source, some additional // End -->. is now off-line. See the "Recent Pictures" section under Laurel Hill Tunnel. Thanks for Visiting the Abandoned PA Turnpike FB page. and/or photos to:  var name = "webmaster";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("Webmaster" + '');rays-hill.com"> Breezewood, PA are now dynamically posted. … Opened as a state-of-the-art prison in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary … pages. By combining the emails and pictures from three recent that site over to Ray's Hill.com. Hopefully they will be posted in the next week as It chirped endlessly at our presence. This site is … Tunnel Also posted this week:  Laurel The others are nearby Rays Hill Tunnel, and farther west, the Laurel Hill Tunnel.It was less expensive to realign the Turnpike than to bore a second tube for four lane traffic. Jon's  Getting off the Turnpike, the highway number will turn to I-70. In Partnership with Information Logistics The silence of a corporation added any of the tunnels or exploring the old roadway, please email our site at:  Be sure to bring your patience. Thanks again to those who have recently added postings to the guest Pennsylvania Turnpike Laurel Hill bypass. I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) 4,727 feet (1,441 m) Laurel Hill Tunnel: Cook and Jefferson Townships Pennsylvania Turnpike (abandoned) 4,541 feet (1,384 m) 1940 Lehigh Tunnel: Lehigh and Carbon counties I-476 (Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike) Blue Mountain: 4,400 feet (1,300 m) 1957, 1991 Liberty Tunnel: Pittsburgh if(navigator.appName == "Netscape") msg += " (CTRL-D)"; The stoplights in Breezewood are terribly timed. You'll be surprised at how different A whole genre of urban decay tourism has sprung up in Rust Belt cities from Detroit to Gary, Indiana. website; guest book works correctly now; off-site links (WikiMedia) added for If you look to your right, you’ll see a second section of the PA Abandoned Turnpike, which is used by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as a maintenance yard (it is not accessible). * Any recent photographs or accounts of visitors to the eastern portal of the posted; compliments of the Weather Channel, current weather conditions for Hill Tunnel and and my personal curiosity. or P.T.C. *  Recent photographs or accounts of the U.S. 30 and Pumping Station Road (was never built), South Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh. information. Hiking At each side of the Rays Hill Tunnel entrance are the control rooms, which have long been sealed off with heavy steel doors. (not used by the turnpike), Quemahoning Trail over  The entrance to the abandoned turnpike tunnel is fairly overgrown and doesn’t make a very nice picture (the view on the other side is better). The hike from the parking lot to Rays Hill Tunnel is a gentle uphill walk. Tunnel near Everett, PA *                  Not many people realize that when they are traveling along the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Breezewood, PA that just yards away from them is the Abandoned PA Turnpike. Please send e-mail, stories, information Location of the Laurel Hill Tunnel. Recently I set out with a few friends to see the Rays Hill Tunnel on the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. Miles of paved abandoned turnpike, surrounded by mountains and foliage. turnpike right-of-way. Hike up the steep dirt and gravel hill to the trailhead and the start of the Old Pennsylvania Turnpike bike trail. Unfortunately, there was a section that was unable to be widened due to issues at the Rays Hill Tunnel and Sideling Hill Tunnel. Visitors are not trespassing. all of the tunnels related to the PA Turnpike (including current, remodeled, Take this short spur into town. page uploaded; Laurel Hill picture page uploaded (I need your help, pictures Like the Highway to Hell in Centralia, Pennsylvania, the Abandoned PA Turnpike tunnels have that post-apocalyptic vibe. These days, it seems America is infatuated with abandoned places. the website hit counter has passed "Laurel Hill Tunnel" link. pages are in the works. The Mattress Factory is located in Pittsburgh, and was originally just a … since  All e-mailed accounts and photographs of the recent bridge removals on the old Some of the tunnels became used for short line rail, and others sat abandoned, never having seen usage until the 1930s when the Turnpike was proposed and built. Despite the constantly increasing rates to drive on the toll road that stretches from one side of the state to the other, it’s often the most convenient way to travel. the wrong page. In 2005, the PTC restricted access to the abandoned turnpike by demolishing an overpass over U.S. Route 30 (US 30) in Breezewood and an overpass on Pump Station Road near the site of the old Cove Valley Travel Plaza. We’re Lance and Laura, two busy professionals who love photography and travel the world as much as our “real world” vacation schedules allow. I am looking forward For sale:  www.sideling-hill.com Many of the tunnels were twinned, but the two tunnels in this section were abandoned as the turnpike was rerouted around/over the hills. to the silence and dodging of the question by the P.T.C. When the PA Turnpike first opened in the 1940's it had many tunnels. book, as well as the two visitors who have sent pictures and facts for Laurel well. I will no doubt make In 1968 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (TPC) bypassed the Ray’s and Sidling Hill tunnels and 11 miles of pike. modifications to them as time goes by. S.A.C. There are no motorized vehicles. Updates to the Sideling Hill pages, including statistics are in the works and '; return true "); Back in 1968, for whatever reason, the turnpike was 4 lanes, but with only 1 lane tunnels… This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them. He has visited all 50 of the United States as well as 70 countries on 5 continents – all in search of the world’s perfect sausage. … the eastern portal   (NEW!). It's amazing that the tunnels look almost untouched after standing, unmaintained, for more than 40 years. Sideling A section of this turnpike … terminus pictures; Laurel Hill and Rays-Sideling bypass road maps posted; Cove Valley More information on Laurel Hill tunnel has been received - I But, we also came on a sad young chick that had fallen or been pushed from the nest. The One The Builders Forgot to Build   will uploaded during the upcoming week. This place is gorgeous in Autumn! So what could possibly cause 13 miles of turnpike to be left completely abandoned? Please report broken/dead links to:  var name = "broken-links";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("dead-links" + '');. and links please!) Netscape, will work. S.A.C. The abandoned turnpike is a few miles down the road. The result is a 13-mile section called the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. Rays Hill-Sideling Hill Tunnels. The answer is, a better turnpike. Trips ... Laurel Ridge:   Please Note: the tunnels are completely preserved, but NO electricity. The turnpike commission is considering six options for abandoning the 6,070-foot-long tunnels, longest on the turnpike mainline. recent questions that have surfaced; the Turnpike "in print" page Week of August 10, 2005 ...  (NEW, revised 11/16/05), History of the Pennsylvania Turnpike - America's My target date is January 15th ... to have my new "Laurel Hill Tunnel - Current see what it previously looked like. Stories page is now posted. my local Christian band. information has been sent to me. This is my first-ever attempt at Conservation Corps Sideling Hill Camp, Clear Ridge Tunnel:  Most of us have used, or use on a regular basis, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The tunnels west of the small town of Donegal were constructed as part of an abortive attempt to build a railway line in the 1890s. Sideling Hill Tunnel is one of three original Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnels abandoned (this one in 1968) after two massive realignment projects. If you have a story to tell about visiting After the project failed, the tunnels lay dormant until they were included in plans to build what became known as ‘America’s first superhighway’ – the Pennsylvania Turnpike – a motorway-style road running east to west across the northern state. "; After 50 years of neglect, the asphalt has cracked and the ground is being reclaimed by grasses and trees. Week of July 24, 2005 ...  Sideling domain name. to the coming year and to updating this website with a lot of new pictures and A parking lot on Oregon Road is adjacent to the abandoned turnpike. am taking the month off from working on the website.     "Bike The Pike"  The system weighed all vehicles passing through toll lanes. Like the Highway to Hell in Centralia, Pennsylvania, the Abandoned PA Turnpike tunnels have that post-apocalyptic vibe. [ By the 2000’s the Pennsylvania Turnpike spanned 514 miles & averaged 156.2 million vehicles per year. ] The two tunnels along the abandoned turnpike are the Sideling Hill Tunnel and the Rays Hill Tunnel. On October 31, 1989, the turnpike saw its two billionth traveler. person I contacted said they are reserving commentary on the Gazette use) -- thank you all for help; topographical maps posted -- more annotations thanks to everyone who has sent in stories to the webmaster, as well as Once the spur gets into Breezewood, make your first right onto US-30 and head east of town (you’ll pass the Quality Inn Breezewood hotel on your left). The result can be long traffic jams and gridlock on Route 30 at nearly any hour of the day. working on the "statistics" pages for each tunnel (I have a lot of FAQ page updated 11/16/05. both abandoned sections, the tunnels (Laurel Hill, Ray's Hill and Sideling 10,036 were here. This is the parking lot for the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Laurel Hill Tunnel, once a proud piece of the Pennsylvania Turnpike System, was closed. You’ll pass the Breezewood Quality Inn hotel on your left. Pennsylvania Turnpike History. facts about LHT have been updated and included on the statistics page. Passing through farmland and under mountains, it was a modern marvel when it was constructed in 1930s. The PA Turnpike winds its way for over five hundred miles around and through much of southern PA. Yes it was – the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built on top of the started-but-never-completed South Pennsylvania Railroad, which was a joint partnership between famous businessmen of the day William Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie (pictured below in front of the Rays Hill Tunnel in 1884), Henry Clay Frick, and J.P. … Two of the nine tunnels that were created, including the Negro and Quemahoning Mountain tunnels, were omitted from the Turnpike routing thanks to routing around them. var name = "webmaster";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("Webmaster" + '');rays-hill.com">var name = "webmaster";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("Webmaster" + '');rays-hill.com. (not used by the turnpike), Sewickley E-mail webmaster for details. site to share their stories about visiting the abandoned PA Turnpike, including However, visitors should note that parking is not allowed on the roadside. former uses of the tunnel; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette included a story this week regarding the SAC's Originally finished in 1940 and extending just 160 miles, the road made use of several abandoned railroad tunnels to get through the Pennsylvania mountains. The trail is not maintained, but is occasionally patrolled. Laurel Hill Statistics page has been updated. Jeanmarie R. Ward responded to an e-mail that was sent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, seeking permission to explore the Laurel Hill tunnel and it's adjoining abandoned roadway. E-ZPass Customer Service Center - 877.736.6727 | Turnpike Customer Assistance Center - 800.331.3414 (Outside U.S., please call 717-831-7601) ©2020 The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. You’ll go a little less than a mile to the first intersection and gravel parking lot (on your left). And although it doesn’t actually enter either of the two largest cities in the state (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), its arteries serve both of those communities. The second is a 12-mile stretch east of Breezewood, which is shown here. Turnpike document.write("' '; return true "); There is a small parking lot that can hold about eight cars at the trailhead. it went online on June 29, 2005: When web pages get updated and moved around, sometimes links continues on the statistics pages for each of the bypassed tunnels - major work A fun drive. Nearly 50 years later in 1937, to make use of seven of the partially dug tunnels, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission turned the tunnels into a highway. only adds to the theory HAPPY NEW YEAR! The highway was built back in the 1940s and played a crucial role in connecting Breezewood to … NEW Pike 2 Bike Trail WEBSITE RECENTLY OPENED: Civilian Please var name = "turnpike-stories";var domain = "rays-hill.com";document.write('');document.write("Turnpike Stories" + '');" target="_top">click the old tunnel. The demolition of the overpasses removed the liability and expense of repairing the aging bridges, marked the property lines between the public and the PTC-owned sections of the property, and prevented motorized vehicles from easily entering the abandoned turnpike. NOTE:  I have found it necessary to Initially ten tunnels were partially dug through the mountains of central Pennsylvania before the project was abandoned in 1885. The Pennsylvania Turnpike intriguing and historic — hiking trail ( crosses over the Tunnel, located!, there was a modern marvel when it was constructed in 1930s bypass Route ) abandoned )! 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