Oneonta Gorge Summer Day

Oneonta Bluff and Tunnel

Oneonta Bluff and Railroad Tracks
Oneonta Bluff and Railroad Tracks

Here’s a rare view of Oneonta Bluff and the old railway bed prior to the

construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Once construction of the road took place the construction of the tunnel allowed automobile passage through the basalt promontory. In time increased traffic and larger cars and trucks necessitated the relocation of the railroad and the highway to allow the cars to bypass the tunnel altogether. The tunnel was filled in 1948.

Oneonta Gorge  Tunnel
Oneonta Gorge Tunnel

Covered up and virtually forgotten, many people would stand on the old bridge that seemed to direct traffic directly into a solid rock wall.

In 2009, as a part of the restoration of the remaining segments of the old road, the tunnel was excavated and restored, including the wooden cribbing and rock facades.

Today the old tunnel is a pedestrian passage and witness to the old Columbia River’s history.

Columbia River Highway at Oneonta Gorge
Columbia River Highway at Oneonta Gorge

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