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FAST FACTS
Laurel Hill Tunnel


Laurel Hill Tunnel, eastern portal, sometime in the 1990's

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Laurel Hill is the third shortest tunnel of the original seven tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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Length:   4,541 feet.

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Located east of Donegal, Pennsylvania.

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Former east-west route of Interstates 70 and 76.

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First of the three tunnels abandoned by the turnpike.

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Tunnel boring work started by the South Penn Railroad.

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The western portal of the tunnel is still visible from the eastbound turnpike.

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Operation began with the opening of the turnpike on October 1, 1940.

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Four lanes of traffic narrowed to two at the tunnel's entrances.

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Single lanes of traffic in the tunnel led to many traffic jams by the early 1960's.

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Bypassing the tunnel was determined to be a better alternative to twinning the tunnel.

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Closed to traffic on October 30, 1964 when the bypass route opened.

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Some light is visible from portal to portal; no interior lighting has been available since the tunnel's closure in 1964.

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Former lettering that spelled out the tunnel's name was made of stainless steel.

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Roof over the fan room housing of the eastern portal collapsed around 2000.

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The tunnel's integrity was not compromised by this collapse.

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Laurel Hill Tunnel and abandoned roadways are still owned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

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The current alignment of the turnpike borders both ends of the abandoned roadway.

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is not currently giving any type of passes to visit the tunnel.

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Laurel Hill Tunnel is currently being leased to a private racing team.

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Public visitation is NOT allowed and is considered trespassing unless you receive special permission. 
So unfortunately if you were planning on bringing the 4WD you found in the car classifieds section in the newspaper, then you might need to make new plans.

This page was created on:  February 21, 2006.  
Last updated on:  May 28, 2012.

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