North Entrance

WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY     (Washington County, Utah)

WASHINGTON TUNNEL

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 and Washington. Prior to that time, people had to travel along the east side and around the bottom of Foremaster Hill to travel between Washington and St. George.


LOCATION

37° 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)

Aerial view of the Washington Tunnel         Map of the Washington Tunnel area


DESCRIPTION

This tunnel was 21 feet wide, 13½ feet high, and less than 500 feet long.


HISTORY

The 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.


PHOTOS

South end of the Washington Tunnel
WCHS-01395     South (west) end of the Washington Tunnel
        North end of the Washington Tunnel
        WCHS-01396     North (east) end of the Washington Tunnel

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


REFERENCES

1954 USGS map of St. George and Washington
1961 street map of St George from the telephone book