Categories: This Day

March 15, 1968 – Construction begins on highest tunnel in the US

At the time of its completion the Eisenhower–Johnson Memorial Tunnel, about 60 miles west of Denver, Colorado, was the world’s highest tunnel with a maximum elevation of 11,158 ft (3,401 m). Construction of the 1.693 mile (2.72 km) tunnel, a part of Interstate 70, broke ground on this day in 1968, starting with the westbound bore named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Above: Eastern portal, named for Edwin C. Johnson – By Patrick Pelster – CC BY-SA 3.0
Top: West portal, named for Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1978 – By Seattleretro – CC BY-SA 3.0

The eastbound bore, named for Edwin C. Johnson, a Colorado governor and U.S. Senator who lobbied for an Interstate Highway to be built through Colorado, was initiated in August of 1975, about a year and a half after the first bore was opened to traffic. The tunnel remains the highest tunnel in the United States but higher tunnels have since been constructed. The world’s highest tunnel to date, completed in 2016, sits at an astonishing 20236.22 feet (6,168 meters) above sea level and shortens the drive between Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, China, to Nagqu, Tibet by two hours.


Recent Posts

December 6, 1976 – Kitty O’Neil sets a land speed record

Kitty O'Neil On this day in 1976, daredevil Kitty O’Neil successfully set the women’s land…

3 days ago

December 5, 1985 – Frankie Muniz, actor and race car driver, is born

Frankie Muniz (via his Facebook page) Frankie Muniz, best known as Malcolm from the TV…

4 days ago

5 of the Best Automotive Video Games

Car-themed games have been popular in the video game industry since game consoles became popular…

5 days ago

December 4, 1955 – József Galamb, Designer of the Ford Model T, dies

The answer to the question, who built the Model T, is not simple. Sure, you…

6 days ago

December 3, 1979 – The last AMC Pacer

The 1970s gas crisis forced automakers to rethink their rather bulbous lineups. By the middle…

7 days ago

December 2, 2002 – Toyota delivers FCHV

2015 Toyota Mirai. By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0…

1 week ago