Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Description:
<!-- Deleted image removed: -->The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is the common name of a 13 mile (21&nbsp;km) stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that was bypassed in 1968 when a modern stretch opened to ease traffic congestion in the tunnels. In this case, the Sideling Hill Tunnel and Rays Hill Tunnel were bypassed, as was one of the Turnpike's travel plazas. The bypass is located just east of the heavily congested Breezewood interchange for I-70 eastbound at what is now I-76 exit 161.



History

When the Turnpike opened in 1940, it was known as the "Tunnel Highway" because it contained seven tunnels from east to west: Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, Sideling Hill, Rays Hill, Allegheny Mountain, and Laurel Hill. There was one tunnel through each mountain, and the highway was reduced to a single lane in each direction through each tunnel.

Originally, this was not a problem, but by the late 1950s, the Turnpike was so heavily used that traffic congestion demanded expansion. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) conducted studies on either expanding or bypassing the tunnels. The result was the "twinning" of four tunnels (by constructing a second, parallel, two-lane tunnel), and outright bypass and closure of the other three. The tunnels through the Blue, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, and Allegheny mountains were expanded through the "twinning" process, while the other...
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