WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
On Highway 91 Between St. George and Washington
The Washington Tunnel was cut through the Red Hill northeast
of St. George
to allow Highway 91
to run directly between St. George
Prior to that time, people had to travel along the east side
and around the bottom of Foremaster Hill to travel between
LOCATION37° 7' 16.0" North Latitude, 113° 33' 11.4" West Longitude
37° 7' 15.88" North Latitude, 113° 33' 10.03" West Longitude (North Entrance)
37° 7' 16.17" North Latitude, 113° 33' 13.22" West Longitude (South Entrance)
DESCRIPTIONThis tunnel was 21 feet wide, 13½ feet high, and less than 500 feet long.
HISTORYThe Washington Tunnel was dug as part of the Highway 91 construction.
According to National Surface Transporation Policy and Revenue Study Commission it had an hourly traffic of 585 vehicles in 1948.
Sometime before 1954, a cut was made through the mesa and the highway was rerouted along the more level route. The tunnel was no longer on the main route, but may have still been used as an alternate route for a while.
Sometime around 1970, the cut was widened and Highway 91 was replaced with I-15.
The road running through the Washington Tunnel was eventually taken out of service. The tunnel still exists, but now is used for storage.
Other WCHS photos:
WCHS-01506 Photo of the north (east) entrance of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-01507 Photo of the north (east) entrance of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-01508 Photo of writing inside the north (east) entrance of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-01509 Photo of the wall and door in the south (west) entrance of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-01510 Photo of the wall and door in the south (west) entrance of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-02668 Photo of the north (east) end of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-02669 Photo of the inside of the Washington Tunnel
REFERENCES1954 USGS map of St. George and Washington
1961 street map of St George from the telephone book