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of sign - Zion National park - Highway 9 near the tunnel
taken- July 2008
up view of sign
view of sign
the 1920s this end of the canyon appeared to be a dead end, an
impassable barrier to transportation. To highway engineers the
challenge was the cliff above. Their solution: a one-mile
tunnel behind the cliff face.
tunnel and highway were completed in 1930, they opened the region to
motor tourism, linking Zion to Bryce and the Grand
North Rim. Now the tunnel itself has become kind of a barrier,
as today's RVs and tour buses are too large for two-way
within the tunnel. Expect short delays as oncoming traffic is
held to allow oversize vehicles to pass through.
Work on the tunnel began with drilling small shafts into the
north-facing cliff. Those shafts later became the tunnel's windows
like the ones visible here. The four galleries are not the
only source of light and air but were places to expel rubble
tunneled toward both ends.
Portions of the tunnel were shored with timbers. In 1937 the entire
tunnel was lined with concrete.
temporary wooded framework as the east portal was replaced with a
small pilot tunnel was enlarged by drilling and blasting.
Crews moved forward 30 to 36 feet a day.
Graphics on the Sign
addition to the text there are historical photos from construction
of the Zion National Park tunnel.
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