Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cascade Locks in Multnomah County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Oneonta Tunnel

Revisit the Past

 
 
Oneonta Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
1. Oneonta Tunnel Marker
Inscription.
The US Department of Agriculture describes cedar as possessing a natural resistance to rot… It is well recognized for its longevity and strength above other wood products.

Oneonta Bluff presented an obstacle to engineer Samuel C. Lancaster. In 1913, it stood in the way of constructing his Columbia River Highway any farther east. The railroad occupied the only available land skirting around the formation.

The basalt forming the bluff has frequent cleavages and is easily broken when disturbed. Some feared that the 125-foot-long, 20-foot-wide bore would leave too little natural rock to support the outer wall and the entire formation would tumble down onto the railroad track. However, Lancaster devised a successful plan to stabilize the "dice rock." He instructed work crews of contractor S. P. White & Co. to inject concrete into the crevasses to hold the crumbling basalt together, thus permitting them to carry out their work with minimal rock fall. By late spring 1914, the tunnel was completed.

The Oneonta Tunnel was bypassed in 1948 and filled with rubble. The Oregon Department of Transportation and The Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration reopened Oneonta Tunnel in 2009. Today, the tunnel provides access to visitors from a parking
Oneonta Tunnel Marker (<i>tall view; west tunnel portal in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
2. Oneonta Tunnel Marker (tall view; west tunnel portal in background)
area to Oneonta Gorge Creek and Falls.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

 
Location. 45° 35.378′ N, 122° 4.516′ W. Marker is near Cascade Locks, Oregon, in Multnomah County. Marker is on Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. 30) 1.8 miles west of Interstate 84, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located near the west portal of the subject tunnel, along the Oneonta Gorge Trail, at the east end of the Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Cascade Locks OR 97014, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oneonta Gorge (here, next to this marker); Simon Benson (approx. 2.2 miles away); Welcome to Multnomah Falls (approx. 2.2 miles away); Discover Wahkeena Falls (approx. 2.7 miles away); Beacon Rock (approx. 3.8 miles away in Washington); a different marker also named Beacon Rock (approx. 6.4 miles away); Sturgeon Habitat (approx. 6.6 miles away); Bradford Island Fishway (approx. 7.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cascade Locks.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Oneonta Tunnel. (includes historic pictures of the tunnel)
In 1914, the Multnomah County Road
Oneonta Tunnel Marker (<i>wide view; west tunnel portal in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
3. Oneonta Tunnel Marker (wide view; west tunnel portal in background)
Department and Samuel Lancaster sought to align the route so that it brought travelers to the mouth of Oneonta Gorge, a canyon so narrow that its basalt walls almost touch as they rise two hundred feet above the creek. Subsequently, the county built Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge. Carrying the alignment past a nearby 200′ bluff, a continuation of the Oneonta Gorge, proved more difficult. Determined to include Oneonta Gorge and nearby Horsetail Falls as two of the natural beauty spots on the route, Lancaster resolved this dilemma by having a tunnel bored through the outcropping. Plans stipulated creating an alignment that included a bridge over Oneonta Gorge Creek parallel and to the south of the railway span, and continuing east through the rock wall via a 125′ tunnel. (Submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Oneonta Tunnel. (includes pictures of the tunnel and bridge)
In 1914 the Historic Columbia River Highway crossed Oneonta Creek and proceeded on through a newly-built 125-foot-long tunnel through the 200-foot-high bluff on the creek's right bank. With construction of Interstate 84 the tunnel fell into dis-use and in 1948 the tunnel was filled with debris and vegetation covered up the entrances. In the summer of 2006 the Oneonta Tunnel was dug-out and work began to incorporate the tunnel as part of a walking/bike path along
Marker Detail: West Portal (1920) & East Portal (1914) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
4. Marker Detail: West Portal (1920) & East Portal (1914)
the Historic Columbia River Highway. On August 19, 2006, the tunnel re-opened. (Submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles
 
Marker detail: West Portal (1948) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
5. Marker detail: West Portal (1948)
A view of the west portal shortly after the highway bypassed Oneonta Tunnel in 1948
Marker detail: "Bridge to Nowhere" image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
6. Marker detail: "Bridge to Nowhere"
The Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge became the "bridge to nowhere" after the state filled in the tunnel.
Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
7. Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge
Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge leading into Tunnel image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
8. Oneonta Gorge Creek Bridge leading into Tunnel
Oneonta Tunnel East Portal detail image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
9. Oneonta Tunnel East Portal detail
Oneonta Tunnel West Portal detail image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
10. Oneonta Tunnel West Portal detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 100 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   8, 9, 10. submitted on April 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement