Historic Hood River
I can’t recall seeing a view of the Mitchell Point Tunnel which shows the white line down the center. I’m not sure exactly when the tunnel was paved, but we know the last of the original pavement between Hood River and Portland was completed just west of here in August 1920.
Those lanes look awfully tight. As cars got bigger and truck traffic increased they eventually converted the tunnel to one way at a time, with a light at each end.
All the rock making up the north wall and the roof of the tunnel was blasted away after this section of highway was replaced by the river level interstate highway. This section of roadway actually remains as a ledge hugging the cliff. The new tunnel uses the existing ledge/roadway as the east approach, then the tunnel plunges into the rock roughly even with the first adit (window) before emerging some 655 feet to the west. The new tunnel also has five adits to provide light and views. The location of at least one of them is in this view– the new first adit would be poking through the wall of rock to the right, overlooking the last bit of ledge/old roadway. The other four adits poke out in the middle of the sheer cliff face where there used to be a viaduct.
I’m hoping we can create some sort of graphic to help people understand how the new tunnel relates in space to the old tunnel. It’s not easy to understand!