Part of the joy of this tunnel was that it was just wide enough for two cars: drivers on opposite sides of the road were within arm's reach of each other inside the arch. The speed limit on the road is 45 miles/hour. What a rush we felt when driving through its arch with another car coming toward us. Was I on my side of the road? Was I so close to the side that the car would scrape? Would the other driver stay on his side? Whew!
There were other beauties to the tunnel, too. In the top photo you can see the carefully crafted stones creating the arch. At right you can see the inside of the arch lined with bricks. Some drivers (probably of trucks) neglected to notice the sign telling the height limit: 12' 2". I never saw a truck scrape the arch but the photo shows that it happened.
These photos below are of the giant stones used to create the sides and entrance of the tunnel. The photographs may be deceiving regarding their size. Most were about 24" tall and much too large and heavy for even a few men to carry.
From the photographs it's hard to tell that railroad tracks ran across the top of the tunnel. It was originally built in 1902 by the B&O (Baltimore & Ohio) Railroad. At that time the area would have been farmland with a few homes and barns dotting the land. Automobiles were not yet common and I suppose the builders had horse and buggy traffic in mind, hence its narrow dimension.
This dear tunnel was perfectly sturdy. It had character. It had a history. It's only problems were its height and lack of width. I like old and I would have preferred to keep the tunnel in place despite its challenges, but the county had other ideas. They tore it down and built a new, expansive, modern bridge.
Head over to Sepia Saturday 283 to see what other participants are sharing.