The Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel, about 60 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70, sits at 11,013 feet at the East Portal and 11,158 feet at the West Portal. The Tunnel traverses through the Continental Divide at an average elevation of 11,112 feet. When initially opened in the 1970s, the tunnel was not only the highest vehicular tunnel in the U.S., but it was also the highest in the world at that time. The facility lies entirely within the Arapaho National Forest and is divided by two counties, Clear Creek County at the East Portal and Summit county at the West Portal. The Tunnel and the Continental Divide also separate two watersheds, the Clear Creek Watershed on the east and the Straight Creek Watershed on the west.
00:00 Introduction: the highest vehicular tunnel in the U.S.
01:15 The highway before the tunnel
02:27 Tunneling through the Colorado Rockies
04:34 A plane crash northeast of the east portal
05:16 Janet Bonnema was mistakingly hired
06:40 the first tunnel opened for highway traffic
09:20 Measurements of the tunnel
10:15 Control room portals located on both ends of the tunnel
11:49 Restoration is needed
12:57 Closing: A shorter much safer commute
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IT’S HISTORY – Weekly tales of American Urban Decay as presented by your host Ryan Socash.
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Editor -Sebastian Ripoll,
Host – Ryan Socash
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“About the Eisenhower Tunnel.” Colorado Department of Transportation, 11 Feb. 2021, https://www.codot.gov/travel/eisenhower-tunnel/description.html.
“Eisenhower Memorial Bore.” Colorado Department of Transportation, 22 Dec. 2019, https://www.codot.gov/travel/eisenhower-tunnel/eisenhower-memorial-bore.html.
“Eisenhower Tunnel.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Apr. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_Tunnel.
Yongli. “Eisenhower Tunnel.” Articles | Colorado Encyclopedia, 21 Aug. 2015, https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/eisenhower-tunnel.
“The Story behind Eisenhower Tunnel.” Front Porch, 31 Dec. 2014, https://frontporchne.com/article/story-behind-eisenhower-tunnel/.
“Blog.” Free Colorado Travel Guide Vacations Travel and Tourism, https://www.uncovercolorado.com/activities/eisenhower-johnson-memorial-tunnel/.
Marketing. “40 Facts about the Eisenhower Tunnel.” Peak 1 Express, 19 Sept. 2019, https://www.mountainshuttle.com/2014/03/10/40-facts-eisenhower-tunnel/.
“Construction Begins on America’s Highest Vehicle Tunnel.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 13 Nov. 2009, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/construction-begins-on-americas-highest-vehicle-tunnel.
Murray, Jon. “The Eisenhower Tunnel Transformed Transportation in Colorado – but Now It Needs Serious Upgrades.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 7 Mar. 2021, https://www.denverpost.com/2021/03/08/eisenhower-tunnel-repairs-history/.
“Highway History.” U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/bore.cfm.
Some images may be used for illustrative purposes only – always reflecting the accurate time frame and content. Events of factual error / mispronounced word/spelling mistakes – retractions will be published in this section.
By: IT’S HISTORY
Title: What is The Highest Tunnel in America? (The Eisenhower Tunnel)
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