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Old 05-13-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Steve Ray
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Default The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

It lies quietly in the Pennsylvania countryside. Its pavement is crumbling, its medians are overgrown with tall grass, and the treeline is encroaching on its shoulders, taking back the land. This is a ghost highway; the thirteen miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, America's first Superhighway, bypassed and abandoned in 1968.





The history of the Pennsylvania Turnpike actually began in the 1880s when railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt sought to build a railroad to compete with the Pennsylvania Railroad. The South Pennsylvania Railroad was to link the capitol city of Harrisburg and the industrial center of Pittsburgh 160 miles to the west. The right-of-way was graded and ten tunnels were partially dug through the mountains of central Pennsylvania before the project was abandoned in 1885.



In 1937 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was established to build and operate a high-speed limited access toll road along the old SPRR right-of-way. Construction began in 1938 using Federal Works Progress Administration funds. Seven of the original ten tunnels were completed (none were bored all the way through originally). The Turnpike opened to traffic in October 1940.



This was America's first Superhighway. Four lanes, two in each direction, Seven tunnels; three over a mile in length. And not a single traffic light, stop sign, or intersection along the entire route.


The tunnels featured similar modernist facades with ventilation equipment housed in glass-fronted structures above each opening with the name of the tunnel appearing on the glass in stainless steel block letters. The interiors of the structures were brightly lit at night, backlighting the names. The tunnels were:

Laurel Hill Tunnel: Length: 4,541 ft.
Allegheny Mountain Tunnel: Length: 6,070 ft.
Ray's Hill Tunnel: Length: 3,532 ft.
Sideling Hill Tunnel: Length: 6,782 ft. (longest)
Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel: Length: 5,326 ft.
Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel: Length: 4,727 ft.
Blue Mountain Tunnel: Length: 4,339 ft.

One mile = 5280 ft.

World War II- Drivers entering the tunnels were stopped and questioned by guards posted at each entrance.




Unfortunately the tunnels had only two lanes, one in each direction. This wasn't a problem at first, but by the late 1950s they became a major source of traffic congestion. Something needed to be done.


The decision was made to bore second tunnels at Allegheny Mountain, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, and Blue Mountain, and bypass Laurel Hill, Ray's Hill, and Sideling Hill entirely. Construction began in 1962, and Laurel Hill was bypassed first in 1964. In 1968 the bypass was complete and thirteen miles of Turnpike with its three tunnels was closed to traffic forever.
1973:

1980:

Today:


The Abandoned Turnpike is now owned by the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy. The road, along with Ray's Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels, are open to cyclists and hikers. The tunnel structures, with the massive ventilation equipment still in place, are open to urban explorers.


Laurel Hill tunnel is leased to a secretive private tenant; rumored to be a racing team operating a wind tunnel inside!

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has been extended, widened, and extensively modernized over the past 69 years. The Abandoned Turnpike is the only section that largely retains its original 1940s appearance.

I ran across a cool old home movie from 1953 of the turnpike and its tunnels:




Here's a few links to picture albums:
Library of Congress collection: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search?q...nia%20turnpike
http://picasaweb.google.com/floor9/A...vaniaTurnpike#
http://www.pike2bike.org/history.htm
http://www.pahighways.com/toll/abandonedturnpike.html
http://www.pumpwarehouse.com/pat.html

Last edited by Steve Ray; 04-03-2010 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

very cool
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Cool!
thanks for posting

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Old 05-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Neat read, thanks.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

very cool yet very sad at the same time. thanks for that little bit of history.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Sweet, love this kind of history.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

THAT is friggin' cool!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

thank you, a good read.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That was a really good read. Thanks!!! That movie was really cool too..
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks - I guess the roadway is closed to vehicle traffic of any kind. Too bad - it would be great scenery for movies of the period.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Wow! I dig that kind of stuff especially if there aren't any no trespassing signs involved. By the way if you are ever in Jerome AZ. don't let the law catch you checking out old mines.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Nice....

Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool read! Thanks for posting it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool. Thank you for posting.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomT View Post
Thanks - I guess the roadway is closed to vehicle traffic of any kind. Too bad - it would be great scenery for movies of the period.
Funny you should mention that. The portion at Rays Hill tunnel was the site of filming for the upcoming movie, "The Road", based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.



Glad you like the post. I grew up in PA and never knew this existed. I remember taking the Turnpike to Carlisle with my Dad, and still remembered the tunnel names: Tuscarora, Kittatinny, Allegheny and Blue Mountain. Central PA has some of the most scenic drives in the country; especially in the fall when the leaves are changing.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Yeah, I was thinking great location for some period looking car shoots....nice post, it's funny how old (dumb) movies become so important at a later date....it's wonderful that your Grandparents had enough foresight to shoot it..............
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

very cool, thanks for the history lesson
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

is there any access on to the road ..or has the two ends closed off and no way to ever get a car on it?

Reason Im asking is..it would be a kick ass place to have a car show Ala HAMB....and maybe if a section of road 1 or 2 miles long was in good shape..A Drag run maybe?

or at least some photo opps.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

THIS is why I love the HAMB. Thank you !
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
Yeah, I was thinking great location for some period looking car shoots....nice post, it's funny how old (dumb) movies become so important at a later date....it's wonderful that your Grandparents had enough foresight to shoot it..............
Thanks, but they weren't my grandparents. I've never been there, but I'll go next time I visit my family, and I'll bring my camera!
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:51 AM   #21
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Awesome history. Id love to go in and check the guts of those tunnels out. I bet there are places in there people dont know exist!
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:55 AM   #22
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Nice story about our local history. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomT View Post
Thanks - I guess the roadway is closed to vehicle traffic of any kind. Too bad - it would be great scenery for movies of the period.
thats what I was thinking.....very cool read by the way.....
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:57 AM   #24
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for a great story!
I remember well our summer family trips to visit the Grandparents on the Turnpike from lower Bucks County in southeast PA all the way across the state 370-plus miles to New Castle on the far side not far from Ohio. First in a '54 Ford Ranch Wagon (the fancy one with Crestline trim), and later a '58 Del Rio Ranch Wagon. No air conditioning... in July, sharing the back seat with little sis; no doubt we drove Mom and Dad crazy with the classic kid question "Are we there yet?" and it's popular variation, "WHEN are we gonna get there?"
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:05 PM   #25
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Hey, thanks for posting this. It was a great read. I've lived in PA for over 30 years and didn't know that there was a previous turnpike and an abandoned section. I have traveled the current turpike many times during my trips to Western PA and Ohio and didn't even know. Now I'm going to have to try to visit the area.

I found out about 10 years ago that there had been a MA-PA railroad that came out of Harford County Maryland and ran up to York PA. There had been wooden trestle bridges across wide ravines and all of the other neat stuff associated with steam trains. It was abandoned years ago and finding it has been difficult. Hopefully I will be able to get to the old turnpike more easily.

Thanks again for a great post and the history lesson.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #26
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks! That long straight section looks like a good place to rebuild and start the Penn Turnpike Racing Association.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #27
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I run it maybe twice a month.

My late Father in Law was on the concrete gang doing the original cement work on the "Pike" I forget how many miles or sections he said they had to do a day.

I was also told the Laurel Hill Tunnel is a secret US Government storage area. I know it has tons of security & fencing around it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #28
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I bet that's where that Stargate thing is...........All kidding aside, this was a facinating read. Thank You!!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos10meter View Post
I run it maybe twice a month.

My late Father in Law was on the concrete gang doing the original cement work on the "Pike" I forget how many miles or sections he said they had to do a day.

I was also told the Laurel Hill Tunnel is a secret US Government storage area. I know it has tons of security & fencing around it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:18 PM   #29
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That is so freaking cool!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #30
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for the posting, pictures and film. I grew up in that part of the country and've been on the Turnpike a few times as a kid. Hadn't recalled those memories in awhile.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #31
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for the cool post, If I'm ever up that way I WILL have to see that.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

http://www.rays-hill.com/turnpike/We...rentUsage4.htm

if you look at this..and see the picture link about half the way down the page..click on it..than the thumb nails..tons of more pictures
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:42 PM   #33
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks. That was a pretty neat story.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #34
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool, thank you for sharing
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #35
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Great read,thanks for posting
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:45 PM   #36
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Chip Ganassi Racing currently leases the Laurel Hill Tunnel as far as I can tell still. - NASCAR and Indy cars
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #37
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

You rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is one of the best strings I have ever seen ! Bar none. you should submit that to the History channel, I also put this on my Favs and have a new screen saver. job well done.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #38
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool.

One question. You stated it was "America's first Superhighway". What gives it this distinction? I always thought the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut was the "oldest highway".
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #39
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Rode that Turnpike in the back of two VW's and a 68 Town and Country every summer from central Ohio to northern Jersey, from at least 1962 to about 1976. I remember all of those tunnels, including Sideling Hill before it was abandoned. We got the 68 Chrysler T&C in 1970 and it was nice to finally have A/C.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:51 PM   #40
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Ahhh, the memories. But, the PA government should be forced to remove it and clean it up. Put it back to nature the way it was. Or,,,turn it into a cool nostalgia drag strip....
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:58 PM   #41
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
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Ahhh, the memories. But, the PA government should be forced to remove it and clean it up. Put it back to nature the way it was. Or,,,turn it into a cool nostalgia drag strip....

although the dragstrip idea is intriguing I don't see what's wrong with the hiking, biking park it is now. Urban exploration is becoming bigger and bigger all the time. how many people go to big cities to explore abandoned buildings etc. abandoned tunnels is very cool.

would make a cool daytime halloween horror park too
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #42
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Yes, it is Ganassi Racing that leases the tunnel. The testing that they do is called "coast down testing", by which the team can accurately evaluate aero-dynamic changes by measuring the time it takes the vehicle to coast down from one speed to another. Most of this testing is done on long stretches at vehicle manufacturers' proving grounds, but controlling the variables outdoors (wind, temperature, etc>) is difficult. Ganassi can control the variables more closely "indoors". They have had a few good wrecks in there, however, and torn up equipment might negate some of the cost savings over conventional wind tunnel testing. vic
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #43
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I can remember as a kid being driven on the PA Turnpike, we would go up towards Harrisburg and get on there heading W towards Pittsburgh. It was like "futuristic" for my parents made a big deal about it.

If I am remembering correctly all the restaurants on the turnpike were Howard Johnson's and were very expensive for they were the only restaruants allowed on the turnpike. We very seldom ate on the turnpike but at that time Howard Johnson's was known for a wide variety of ice cream flavors which my brother and I were sometimes allowed to purchase.

Of course my mother, who never ordered ice cream, had to always get our cones "under control" from the dripping and it seemed that there was sometimes a whole scoop missing by the time we got our cones back.

And then there was the time when one of my high school friends and I went to visit her older sister somewhere in PA but coming back got on the turnpike going the wrong direction. We made a u-turn, we must have been at the end for we were back at the toll booth and the the toll takers were quite confused when we handed them our ticket to pay and they noticed that we just got on at their entrance. They asked if we made a u-turn, we told them we made a wrong turn to which they replied that is what they called a u-turn. We were not fined.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #44
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

You outta hear the noise when 4 hot rods go through tunnel side by side at 80 plus mph. One time me and a buddy came flying out of one of the tunnels and there was a bunch of employees from the tunnel cheering and waving to us. I found out later they watch you on closed circuit tv. Next time you go through one rev up the noise.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:04 PM   #45
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

A drag strip would be a cool idea. Recently there was a guy who owned a large farm in York County who wanted to put a professional drag strip on his property. After being beat to death by the local zoning board and the local citizens concerned about traffic and noise, he gave up on the idea.

Maybe he could work a deal for a section of the old turnpike.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:10 PM   #46
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I love stuff like this.
It's very cool but sad as well as spooky all at the same time. Places like this give a glimpse at what Earth will look like after we're all gone.
Ever drive the stretch of highway out of Paso Robles going towards Bakersfield? You can see remnants of the old highway crisscrossing the existing one (I think it's where James Dean crashed).
Those abandoned chunks of roadway are spiritual....
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:11 PM   #47
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That's amazing! Really cool story you dug up there. Now I want to go and check it out!
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:15 PM   #48
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

it would be cool for a drag strip to be built out there, but most folks out there are mostly into dirt track racing - Bedford Speedway, and Thunder Valley Raceway(my family homestead is up in those hills outside of Clearville)

There is also remnants of an old CCC(Civ. Conserv. Corp) Camp turned Nazi POW camp not too far away(camp remnants are about 1/4 mile from the tunnel), on the edge of Buchannan State Forest. Both Sidleling Hill Tunnel and the camp are a very short drive from my parents place as is an old Aqueduct(Woodrige Hollow) and an old Saltpeter cave/mine.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #49
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I enjoyed that - thank you for taking the time to put it together!!!!
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:21 PM   #50
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Originally Posted by Nosurf View Post
Very cool.

One question. You stated it was "America's first Superhighway". What gives it this distinction? I always thought the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut was the "oldest highway".
http://www.nycroads.com/history/motor/

Vanderbilt Motor Parkway a.k.a Long Island Motor Parkway?
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:32 PM   #51
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Very cool.

One question. You stated it was "America's first Superhighway". What gives it this distinction? I always thought the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut was the "oldest highway".

Good question, may have something to do with the number of access ramps. The Merrit is still in use, every overpass design is different, and most of the originals are in use.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #52
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

sounds kinda like parts of Rt 66.....wonder how many more are out there?????
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:37 PM   #53
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Awesome!
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:37 PM   #54
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That is really cool. It is just like the show on history channel "Life After People"
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #55
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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sounds kinda like parts of Rt 66.....wonder how many more are out there?????
this isnt by far, a complete list, but with the links, you can find most of them:
http://www.rbs0.com/abandon3.htm

another neat/spooky place to visit in PA is Centralia, PA- an old coal mining town that was abandoned because a fire broke out in the mines beneath the town. The fire is still burning, and is estimated to burn for at least the next 100 years or so...
http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:53 PM   #56
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Great post! The old road surface looks to still be in about the same shape as the current one! My Grandfather pointed out the old tunnel when I was a kid and I look that direction everytime now..
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #57
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Good question, may have something to do with the number of access ramps. The Merrit is still in use, every overpass design is different, and most of the originals are in use.
I really like the Merrit, use it whenever I'm in CT- there bridge/overpass designs are not only different, but someone gave a thought to how they would fit into the landscape. And there are no trucks-you can't say that about I-95 which is the alternative.

As for Centralia-there's not much left-a few hangers-on. It's really weird though having smoke and fire rise out of all the vents in the earth-kind of like the Gates of Hell as you descend down into the town.

As for a dragstrip, you'd need not only to get there,but also enough people to make it a viable enterprise-neither is really easy in that part of the Commonwealth.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:21 PM   #58
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Fascinating, thanks for sharing!
Agreed with much of the sentiment- this is why I love the HAMB. As for the "make it a dragstrip" ideal. nah, let it crumble in peace.
I'm gonna make it a point to go on a bicycle trip out there in the near future now!
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #59
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Now that is what I consider to be a national treasure (please don't tell nick cage...he will make another movie!). Thanks for sharing this! I never knew about it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:35 PM   #60
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Welp! Now I've got to look that area up and go check it all out!
Man! that has got to be one cool exploring place.... I love that stuff.
Thanks for the post.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:36 PM   #61
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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sounds kinda like parts of Rt 66.....wonder how many more are out there?????
Awww man you would be surprised. I always travel down old roads and you see segments here and there of weedgrown abandoned stretches. I collect books, maps, postcards, anything on the U.S. Highway system. Do a Google search on abandoned roads, bypassed highways...use key words pertaining to that stuff, and you will find a bunch of stuff.

If I can ever get my damn computer to recognize my scanner, I'll scan some stuff.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:39 PM   #62
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for sharing! Time appropriate as well seeing that I will be on the PA turnpike heading for the Showdown in less that two days! I'll keep my eyes open for signs of the old road. I've never noticed any before...goes to show how much I pay attention on that dreaded road
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:40 PM   #63
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Originally Posted by budhaboy View Post
another neat/spooky place to visit in PA is Centralia, PA- an old coal mining town that was abandoned because a fire broke out in the mines beneath the town. The fire is still burning, and is estimated to burn for at least the next 100 years or so...
http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm
I remember that from growing up in PA, not so much abandoned as being forced out, I remember that people did not want to leave fire or not.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:36 PM   #64
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

My grandfather told stories of the cars lined up to take a drive the day the turnpike opened. He took his old Autocar Truck that converted to a passenger vehicle on weekends out on the pike to floor it and see what it would do.

He said it was like a dragstrip the first few weeks, no speed limits and people were taking off from the beginng and going what he used to say "a mile a minute," Which I guess was pretty fast back then!

Great story. Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:45 PM   #65
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

never knew it existed, gonna have to check it out....great info!
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #66
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool and sad as Jeem stated. There are Roman roads and structures still being used in the old world and we shut things down after a few years.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:03 PM   #67
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for posting these pics and info. Brings back memories just like looking at pics of the Mother Road, Rte66. Dare I say these brought a tear to my eye.

My first of MANY trips was in Jan 59 from New Stanton to Breezewood on my way to NavComSta Wash DC. Several more to/from during 59-61.

When I moved to Md in 66 there were trips almost every 6 wks back to Oh summer and winter. I remember noticing the change but at the time didnt know why. Many a marvelous sight and a lot of memories of the dozens of trips between Breezewood and N.Stanton.

Remember one trip in particular with a new pair of driving sunglasses. Reaching to remove them as we entered a tunnel but not quite making it - instant BLACKNESS. They were filtering at exactly the same freq as the sodium vapor lights in the tunnel.

It has now been some 20 years since my last jaunt along that ole highway...
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:18 PM   #68
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for taking the time to share with us ,Your Mom would be proud !
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #69
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

This is the kind of stuff I come to the HAMB for ... absolutely great!
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:31 PM   #70
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Grew up camping, fishing, riding dirt bikes in Pittsburgh.

When we wanted to get away we would grab a topo map and hit the road...

Always would head east into those mountains....

You would not believe the some of the cool old compounds from guys like.

Mellon, Carnegie, Frick....from mid to late 1800s

Like small private towns....run now like clubs....Preserved... so sick....
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #71
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by meatball View Post
sounds kinda like parts of Rt 66.....wonder how many more are out there?????
I'm always on the look out for sections of old U.S. highways, or at least sections that are no longer designated as such.

In my neck of the woods, there are many sections of old U.S. highway 41 that are just back roads now. I love to drive these sections where the "ruins" of old roadside motels and drive-ins can be seen. Highway 41 connected Indianapolis to Miami. The section that ran through the deep south was known as "The Dixie Highway of Rememberance" ... many sections through the Atlanta area are still refered to as "Old Dixie" highway.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:51 PM   #72
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That is a great post! Love the tunnels and the old highway. It reminds me a lot of driving the OLD parts of Route 66 in Oklahoma and Arizona - not the scenery, obviously, but the overall experience.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:52 PM   #73
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

My wifes family owns Valley High just outside of Breezewood. I have been into the tunnel there and walked some of the the old turnpike. Abandoned roads and tunnels are great for the imagination!
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #74
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool read, thanks again! that video was awesome, it is great to see all the classics cruising around
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:48 PM   #75
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That is awesome, it would also make a fantastic drag way for the rat rods!
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:00 PM   #76
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Really enjoyed the post grew up just north of pittsburgh not to far from a turnpike exit, thanks
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #77
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Neat stuff , thanks for posting !
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:26 PM   #78
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

very cool....
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:45 PM   #79
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

This is cool I would like to go and explore it. I really dig stuff like this thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:13 PM   #80
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

13 miles ? How much of it is in a straight line? A Drag strip would be cool but how about a land speed racing park on the east coast or America's Autobahn. Three words, Wide-Open-Throttle, W-O-T baby!

Let the hikers, and bicycle twits go to a state park or the damn bike trails our taxes are wasted on that they don't use.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:32 PM   #81
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

freakin cool!!! looks like if you make a wrong turn down that road, jason will be coming after you for makin love while he drowned
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:38 PM   #82
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Great post. I just did the NJ to Ohio run on the TP last week. The tunnels are the best part, with the old stone rest stops a close second.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:42 PM   #83
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

This is some great history but, where is all the construction signs at? Oh word to the wise if you are coming to the Jalopy Showdown via the turnpike from out west. There is ALOT of construction after the Blue Mountain Tunnel replacing the bridges. You might want to get off at the Blue Mountain Exit ( the one right after the tunnel) and just drive through The PA countryside to Carlisle onto 74. Andy
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:48 PM   #84
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

For those curious about what EXACTLY happens in the Laurel Hill tunnel that is occupied by Chip Ganassi Racing, then just read the Patent that they recieved for this facility.

"Method and Apparatus For Testing a Moving Vehicle", filed Sept 2004, issued Nov 2007 to Chip Ganassi Racing

http://www.google.com/patents?id=SV9...zoom=4#PPA1,M1

Should quickly clear up that mystery.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #85
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

neato
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:06 PM   #86
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Algon View Post
13 miles ? How much of it is in a straight line? A Drag strip would be cool but how about a land speed racing park on the east coast or America's Autobahn. Three words, Wide-Open-Throttle, W-O-T baby!

Let the hikers, and bicycle twits go to a state park or the damn bike trails our taxes are wasted on that they don't use.
i hear that!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:09 PM   #87
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Born in Pgh Pa. 1950, remember family vacations on the pike with 7 tunnels, they were only 2 lane and the speed limit in the tunnel was 35mph. As a kid hearing on the news about a bad head on crash with a poorly maintained semi trailer. killed a few people. was a big deal then cuz they were talking about twin boring the tunnels and bypassing 3 of them. they are now straightening out the sharp turns on the big hill leading up to the somerset tunnel. The twin tunnels are neat , Blue Mountain-- Kittaniny, you come out in daylight for maybe 1/4 mile then back in the dark. About the middle of the pike, The East Broad Top steam railroad is at the Fort Littleton exit, off 522 Orbisonia. A real neat narrow gage steam railroad. 6 steam locos and stone roundhouse , over head belt machine shop and car building shop. best time to visit is fall steam days Columbus day weekend in October. Also RT. 30 sort of parallels the pike around Chambersburg. Rt30 goes over the mountains, Old Ship Hotel,( gone now). sometimes I go to York NSRA that way when I have extra time. Neat old scenic winding road.


Ago

Last edited by ago; 05-13-2009 at 08:12 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:10 PM   #88
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

cool thread!!!!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:24 PM   #89
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

cool! thanks for posting!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #90
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Just saw this, very cool! Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:43 PM   #91
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I live due south of Bedford and will look this up.Thanks for the great info and history lesson!!!
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:52 PM   #92
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That's a cool story.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:06 PM   #93
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Algon View Post
13 miles ? How much of it is in a straight line? A Drag strip would be cool but how about a land speed racing park on the east coast or America's Autobahn. Three words, Wide-Open-Throttle, W-O-T baby!

Let the hikers, and bicycle twits go to a state park or the damn bike trails our taxes are wasted on that they don't use.
The great "Free State" spent $4 mil on bike trails down here and they still pedal thru town blocking traffic while the ultra-bike trails are less than 100 yards away!
Yep,it pisses me off that I pay road and vehicle taxes and they don't use what we all paid for?!
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:34 PM   #94
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

beautiful stuff. what a country: all the planning, engineering, and labor to build such a road, through mountains, through forest. only in America is something like this used for 35 years & then discarded! seven tunnels through a friggin mountain. no wonder we are where we are folks.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:37 PM   #95
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Born in 1944 in Wellsville N.Y. right across the border from Pennsylvania I was a PA resident until I was about 8 years old. Some of my earliest memories are of traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It's been years since I 've been back but I'd sure like to make a trip out there again before the dirt nap.

Frank
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:38 PM   #96
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Originally Posted by c10addict View Post
Great post! The old road surface looks to still be in about the same shape as the current one! My Grandfather pointed out the old tunnel when I was a kid and I look that direction everytime now..
Hah! That's what I was thinking! You know for all the complaints Pennsylvanians have about their roads-potholes, endless construction, congestion, etc. the PA Turnpike was a modern marvel and even a tourist attraction when it first opened. The interesting remembrances that some of the people here posted prove that. This was for me an interesting lesson about the time when people didn't take highways for granted.


The garage at the left of the tunnel openings contained a wrecker that could clear the tunnel at a moment's notice.

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Old 05-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #97
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Awesome topic/pics.
You can search for the tunnels by name on Google Earth- helps to see them in proximity to each other.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:54 PM   #98
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Good Post....I actually grew up in the area and remember skiping school one day back in the early 80's 3 of us had a back pack full of rolling rock on ice and walked Ray's tunnel I remember it being very quiet and DARK!! Another fact about the turnpike others may not know is the underground tunnel between the 2 travel plazas in Bedford (North Midway and South Midway) I worked for Howard Johnsons during my high school years and was always amazed with it........It was closed to the public but used by the plazas to transfer goods.

Thanks for bringing back some memories.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:08 AM   #99
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Love the history!
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:21 AM   #100
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I love how the mechanical ventilation systems for the tunnels are featured on top the tunnel entrances behind glass walls. So often the beating mechanical hearts of our modern world are buried in basements or back rooms away from view, as though they were some kind of architectural monstrosity.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:13 AM   #101
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

A very, very cool post. Thank you for taking the time....
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:11 AM   #102
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That's really cool! Give it another 25 years or so and mother nature will have taken the road back completely. I'm surprised all the tunnels aren't leased out. We had an abandoned railway tunnel near where we lived a while back, and it was leased to a mushroom grower. Inside a tunnel like that is perfect humidity for growing mushies, and the tunnel was floor to roof, end to end with racks of growing tubs and machinery.

Cheers, Glen.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:20 AM   #103
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Great thread.

To get an idea of what the PA Turnpike was back in the 50's, imagine no interstates.

What that was like was ... I grew up near Pittsburgh. To travel to Florida you would take the turnpike to Breezewood then turn south. Driving directly south from Pittsburgh down through WV was not an option really. In fact, when the WV Turnpike openned it was called "the turnpike to nowhere." Actually, from nowhere to nowhere. Big difference today.

Glad to see so many of you had cars to drive the PA Turnpike ... I hitch-hiked ... usually to Fort Lauderdale ... dreaming of the cars I would own some day.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:58 AM   #104
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Awesome post thanks.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:24 AM   #105
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Awesome post! I think most people forget that the journey is the best part of the trip not the destination. I'm trying to instill that in my children. Although today major highways have less character than the highways and byways of the past. I do take highways when I need to make up time but I much prefer backroads.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:41 AM   #106
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

This is a great post thank you. My wife thinks i ,am nuts reading stuff like this.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:59 AM   #107
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Is that Midway Station building still there??? VVVVVV

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:03 AM   #108
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

rtden :: Via Google Earth, looks like the building is still there, tho it has been added onto ('Street View' : obstructed by trees). If I've pinpinted it correctly, this Midway Service Plaza is due NE of Bedford PA, on the current PA TRNPK. This puts it about halfway between the Allegheny & Sideling Hill Tunnels. You can see the '3 box' shape of the building with it's chimneys. Hope that beautiful PA stonework hasn't been covered over in the name of "progress".
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:09 AM   #109
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

The Midway rest areas are both in operation, but both have been expanded over the years. Originally there was only one, I believe on the West bound side, with a tunnel under the Turnpike for folks from the opposite side to walk to it for refreshments.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:38 AM   #110
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

that's awesome. good stuff.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:43 AM   #111
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Kool stuff!! Been on my "to do" list for some time.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #112
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

There are 2 seasons on the PA turnpike .......Winter and .............CONSTRUCTION.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:08 PM   #113
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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There are 2 seasons on the PA turnpike .......Winter and .............CONSTRUCTION.
I travel once a year from MA to Hershey and I have to agree with this comment.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:49 PM   #114
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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There are 2 seasons on the PA turnpike .......Winter and .............CONSTRUCTION.
Haven't traveled the East/West much but have been on the Northeast Extension since it opened and it's been like that as long as I can remember. The tunnel on it was probably the last one changed to 4 lanes.
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:08 PM   #115
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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There are 2 seasons on the PA turnpike .......Winter and .............CONSTRUCTION.
Hey! We have the same ones here in Minnesota.
I remember the taking the Pennsy Turnpike when we drove from Wichita to NYC in 1968. All those tunnels!! Something we don't have in Kansas. Or the mountains and all those trees. Pretty cool post.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:22 PM   #116
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Great post! Thanks!
I have fond memories of traveling up the NorthEast extension of the Pa. turnpike to my GrandMa's in my Dad's red 56 Country Squire and stopping at HoJo's for ice cream.
I drove my first car, a 51 chevy thru the Lehigh tunnel when it was just 2 lanes wide, one north and one south with no devider. It was scarey with 3 or 4 inches of play in my steering wheel, bald tires, and an 18 wheeler right on my ass!
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:54 PM   #117
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

yep,remember the turnpike back in the day,great post......richie.....
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:07 PM   #118
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Just read this. Great post.

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Old 05-14-2009, 10:05 PM   #119
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool. Love the pics and story.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:20 PM   #120
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Very cool thread, thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:36 PM   #121
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Hauntingly cool.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:40 PM   #122
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

are you aloud to go exploring? or do u have to go stealth?
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:54 PM   #123
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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The great "Free State" spent $4 mil on bike trails down here and they still pedal thru town blocking traffic while the ultra-bike trails are less than 100 yards away!
Yep,it pisses me off that I pay road and vehicle taxes and they don't use what we all paid for?!
"Share the Roads" my ass! My hot rod tags haven't decreased in price...
You may like this... We have a local byway that while annoying and a block from part of our bike trail, I don't fully blame them for riding down. Its out of the beaten path route, nothing back there but a strip mine and a construction supply place for the most part. The problem is these fools run three and four wide down the road so there is no where to go if you come up on them going over a hill and there is traffic driving the other way.

I've seen some them go from riding the berm to clumping together, blocking the road on purpose so you can not pass them. They tried it on a county asphalt truck once and wound up in the ditch when the driver down shifted and hit the throttle in response.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:13 PM   #124
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

completely awesome. Thanks for posting this.

-scott noteboom
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:17 PM   #125
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

thanks i really needed that. its always nice to escape for just a LITTLE BIT.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:21 PM   #126
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Traveled that road in 1961 in my dad's '57 Fairlane from St Louis to Baltimore....My brother was 3 or 4 at the time and all he kept saying was " I need more tunnel"....my mom still talks about that....
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:40 AM   #127
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Can't wait to hear the cab stacks on my truck echo through the Lehigh Valley Tunnel on the way to the Pocono Drag Lodge reunion.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:46 AM   #128
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Originally Posted by Von Rigg Fink View Post
is there any access on to the road ..or has the two ends closed off and no way to ever get a car on it?

Reason Im asking is..it would be a kick ass place to have a car show Ala HAMB....and maybe if a section of road 1 or 2 miles long was in good shape..A Drag run maybe?

or at least some photo opps.
I think you are on to something here.
Would be a fun hang out spot for a show/get together.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:47 AM   #129
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

cool post - been a long time since I was on that highway. I didn't realize part of it was abandoned.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:51 AM   #130
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very good Thread. Interesting. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:14 AM   #131
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

From my huge collection...

~Jason













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Old 05-15-2009, 10:36 AM   #132
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Awesome.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:11 PM   #133
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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Originally Posted by Labold View Post
I think you are on to something here.
Would be a fun hang out spot for a show/get together.
Sounds like a great idea. Try contacting the people who operate the trail: http://www.pike2bike.org/ They're a non-profit; maybe they'll do it for a donation. Yeah, a benefit show!

Abomination, thanks for sharing your collection! Very cool.

Then:


Now
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #134
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Wow...that place is sssooooo cool...and kinda spooky too...
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:49 PM   #135
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Cool Pictures. I hope to explore this stretch of road someday. Rode through here in 1965 when I was 8. I remember passing through the two bypassed tunnels. I wondered what happened to them years later when I drove through this area myself.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:22 PM   #136
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This road should be opened back up. Just for pre -68 cars. Just to keep it the way it was.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:52 PM   #137
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I run the Pike quite often. Seeing the pics of the service areas from the 40's I see they are the original buildings still in use at some plazas. They are now tearing down the old plazas and rebuilding. I d say the tunnels havent been touched much since then either with big areas of tiles missing. Interesting thread.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:54 PM   #138
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

WOW. I love stuff like this. Great post. Thanks so much.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:59 PM   #139
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Very cool history. Does anybody know what is gonna happen to it?
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:25 AM   #140
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing! Urban exploring is way cool.

Should be featured on one of my favorite shows; "Cities of the Underworld" on the History Channel.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:31 AM   #141
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I am fascinated by 'urban decay', something we dont get here in Oz. As soon as something is closed down its gone. About the best are a few stretches of highway that has been bypassed but nothing remotely as interesting as this!
It blows my mind that they would just leave it all behind, I know a group (In the US)that 'investigates' old buildings (Ok, there ghost hunters), they have been spending time at an abandoned hospital, the place closed and everyone walked out. There is still medical records in there!
Crazy stuff.
I love it,
Doc.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:15 AM   #142
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

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I am fascinated by 'urban decay', something we dont get here in Oz. As soon as something is closed down its gone. About the best are a few stretches of highway that has been bypassed but nothing remotely as interesting as this!
It blows my mind that they would just leave it all behind, I know a group (In the US)that 'investigates' old buildings (Ok, there ghost hunters), they have been spending time at an abandoned hospital, the place closed and everyone walked out. There is still medical records in there!
Crazy stuff.
I love it,
Doc.
Doc, there's a section of the highway between Sydney and Wollongong that was bypassed when they built a big new one maybe 30 years ago. It's south of Sutherland but before Helensburg, I can't remamber any more detail than that. I used to have fun on the old two lane road in the Willys, lots of twisty bits, then I used to see it sort of hiding in the bushes as I cruised the highway. I don't think they could close it completely, there were a few odd houses in the bush, so I guess it'd still be there.

Cheers,Glen.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:20 PM   #143
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

an ABANDONED tunnel? I'm on my way there, as we speak.
Also, check out the one just north of Exit 159 on I-81 at Nuangola, Pa -- an old abandoned, sealed railroad tunnel. Also, there's a junkyard off the same exit that has plenty of rusted 40's and 50's hulks.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #144
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool post. Nice pictures and a cool story. I've been down the PA Turnpike, but I didn't know they bypassed a stretch like that!



Quote:
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By the way if you are ever in Jerome AZ. don't let the law catch you checking out old mines.

Oh yeah... I'll second that! Same goes for Globe, AZ.... don't ask how I know....
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:49 PM   #145
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

That is cool, it reminds me of the first time I drove on Route 66 out of Shamrock, TX. There was grass growing in the cracks in the pavement, it was the oddest thing to see grass growing on the road.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:54 PM   #146
Ghost28
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Really nice thread. My kind of place...ghost
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #147
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by BangerMatt View Post
http://www.nycroads.com/history/motor/

Vanderbilt Motor Parkway a.k.a Long Island Motor Parkway?
I drive the 'best' remaining section of that road every day. A climbing ess curve; decreasing radius on the last turn when going downhill. Nicely banked, too. Handling test each time.

But wasn't the Interboro Parkway in NYC (between Brookly and Queens) also one of the first? Also still in use with great ess curves (through the cemetary!). I remember when the center guard rail was a piece of 3" pipe mounted at ground level.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:45 PM   #148
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I love stuff like this. Just so weird that all the time and money spent and it was abandoned.

I didn't read all the posts but did a new highway bring this to extinction?

Thanks for the cool post.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #149
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

>>>But wasn't the Interboro Parkway in NYC (between Brookly and Queens) also one of the first?>>>

I was under the impression that the Merritt Parkway (originally called the Merritt Highway) in CT was supposedly the first actual, limited access, divided highway built in the US.

Regardless, GREAT story on those tunnels. Thanks for sharing, cool story :-)

Al in CT
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #150
Jim N
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Here's more on the Laurel Hill Tunnel:
http://nascar.speedtv.com/article/cu...el_hill_tunnel
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:23 AM   #151
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenC View Post
Doc, there's a section of the highway between Sydney and Wollongong that was bypassed when they built a big new one maybe 30 years ago. It's south of Sutherland but before Helensburg, I can't remamber any more detail than that. I used to have fun on the old two lane road in the Willys, lots of twisty bits, then I used to see it sort of hiding in the bushes as I cruised the highway. I don't think they could close it completely, there were a few odd houses in the bush, so I guess it'd still be there.

Cheers,Glen.
Thanks mate, there are a few sections of the Hume like that to. But there OLD, like an old section of two lane in a local street.
The closest to a cool abandoned thing I have ever come close too is the old bomber strip at Woomera. It was built for the Pommy Victory series of bombers to fly in to.
When they stopped testing nukes and other heavy air delivered weapons out there, there was no further use for the strip.
On an exercise one year we pulled up in a field, or what looked like a field. I stepped out of the vehicle and was surprised to find it was tarmac with tall grass growing out of it. This stuff was waste high!
That strip is almost 5km long and almost 1km wide! Nothing exists of the buildings. hangars or tower though.
Doc.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:16 AM   #152
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Too bad it is in such bad shape. Also I guess no access. Can you say Drag race?
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:18 PM   #153
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Good stuff...i will have to add it to my list of stuff to see before i die...
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:28 PM   #154
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

It seems as people were better drivers back then, I saw headlights turn on from just about every car as soon as they entered the tunnel. Now everybody relies on their stupid "day time running lights".
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:42 PM   #155
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Napier View Post
>>>But wasn't the Interboro Parkway in NYC (between Brookly and Queens) also one of the first?>>>

I was under the impression that the Merritt Parkway (originally called the Merritt Highway) in CT was supposedly the first actual, limited access, divided highway built in the US.

Regardless, GREAT story on those tunnels. Thanks for sharing, cool story :-)

Al in CT
The Pennsylvania Turnpike wasn't the first high-speed limited access highway in America. The Turnpike's website cites the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan, the Bronx River Parkway, the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, and the Arroyo Seco Parkway in Los Angeles. What made the PA Turnpike America's first Superhighway was that it was modeled on Germany's then-new Autobahns; with design standards applied consistently throughout its length.


From http://www.paturnpike.com/geninfo/history/history.aspx

"A standard sight distance of 600 feet was chosen. Straight-aways were designed for 100 mph and the spiral curves were superelevated to accommodate 70 mph. Easy grades (no more than 3%) were carved through valleys, ravines, and mountains. Almost 70 percent of the original turnpike was straight, with the longest a 40-mile stretch west of Carlisle relieved by one curve to break the monotony.

"Many innovations were introduced during the layout of the highway. When possible, the turnpike route was laid out on southern exposures to let the sun heat the ice and snow on the roads. Toll booths off of the turnpike were located on downhill grades to allow drivers time to react instead of being surprised. In addition to the roadway, there were over 300 bridges and culverts, nine interchanges, ten service plazas, and eleven toll booths to design."


This was truly the biggest project of its kind in the US at the time and the prototype of postwar toll roads and interstate highways in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and elsewhere. As for why the three tunnels were bypassed, it had to be more cost-effective to run bulldozers over open land than bore 3 miles of new tunnels adjacent to the old ones. Maybe they should have done that originally!

An interesting tidbit: When the Turnpike opened in 1940, it was predicted that it would see 1.3 million cars per year. The Pennsylvania Turnpike now sees 156.2 million vehicles a year on it's 514 miles of pavement at a toll of about 4.1 cents per mile.


Last edited by Steve Ray; 05-21-2009 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #156
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

wow thanks for posting this info looks like i have one more adventure to ad to the list . Pa has a lot of interesting things here and there
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:10 PM   #157
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike



Isn't Vulcanvania someone off that there abandoned road?

Awesome history BTW!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:33 PM   #158
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for the memories ! It's so sad to see the history falling apart like that . So much history on that stretch of road .

What's even sadder than that is our damn roads are like that now !
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:38 PM   #159
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Thanks for posting, I love anything to do with "Lost America"!!
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:45 AM   #160
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Cool! Have some cool, early decals I found...will scan them and add them as soon as I locate them.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:01 AM   #161
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

An interesting article about the race team testing... as others have already mentioned.

http://www.thenascarinsiders.com/200...assis-area-51/

The article has a link to a photo album, with even more pictures, for those of you who are interested.

I thought this place sounded familiar when I started reading the first post.

Thanks for sharing, interesting stuff.

-W
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #162
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Very cool story.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:15 PM   #163
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

Even though it's an old post, I haven't seen it before! I never knew this existed, will for sure have to check it out next time I visit family!
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:39 PM   #164
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I looked it up on Google Earth the other day.............damn, Pennsylvania has a LOT of abandoned roads! When I found it I traced its path and it amazing what nature and man can do to wipe it out in a very short time. Hard to follow in spots
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:47 AM   #165
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Default Re: The Ghost Highway-the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

I just read this post and it started me thinking again about that road. In September, 1967, I drove my 331 Hemi/muncie-4-speed powered '47 Ford from Cape Cod, Mass. to Pueblo, Co. On the Pennsylvania turnpike near Pittsburg, very late at night, I was slowing down for a toll booth and I felt the clutch let go. I limped into a Howard Johnson restaurant. I was nearly broke, very tired, kinda scared, 22 year old kid and lucky for me the waitress befriended me. Long story short, the next day I changed the clutch, pressure plate, and throwout bearing right there in the parking lot and was on my way again. I made it to Pueblo without any more trouble, the '47 is long gone, but I'll never forget that night on the 'pike. Good times.
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