Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Mosier Twin Tunnels, Oregon"
Includes ... Mosier ... Mosier Twin Tunnels ... Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Mosier Twin Tunnels ...
The "Twin Tunnels" of Mosier were a part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Engineered by John A. Elliot and constructed between 1919 and 1921, the tunnels were closed in 1955 with the completion of Interstate 84 following the banks of the Columbia River. Originally the tunnels were 17 feet wide but with the advent of larger cars they were widened to 20 feet. The Tunnels were closed in 1955 because of safety issues. With help of Senator Mark Hatfield, the twin tunnels were re-opened in July 2000 for bicycle and foot traffic, and are now part of a 4.6-mile-long "Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail". The Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead is near Hood River and the Mark O. Hatfield East Trailhead is outside of Mosier. The tunnels themselves are located on the trail closer to Mosier.

Historic Columbia River Highway ...
The "Twin Tunnels" of Mosier were a part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Built in the early 1920s, the tunnels were closed and sealed after the construction of Interstate 84. In 2000, with the help of Senator Mark Hatfield, the tunnels were once again opened as part of the 4.6 mile Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, open to foot and bicycle traffic only.

[More Historic Columbia River Highway]
[More HCRH Route]

  • HMP 71.5 ... West Tunnel Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels (2000)
  • HMP 72.0 ... Mosier Twin Tunnels (1921)
  • HMP 72.0 ... Mid-Tunnel Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels (1996)

  • Mosier Twin Tunnels (1920, 1921, 1938, 1953, 1996):   "These tunnels were bored out of a basalt outcropping. They consist of an 81-foot west bore, 24 feet of open space, and a 288-foot east bore. Total length was 493 feet with 369 feet of that in bores. The orignal vertical clearance was 16 feet, with an 8'-8" radius measured from a springline of 7'-4" from the roadbed. Roadway width was 17'-4". Two windows measured 8 to 10 feet and were bored in the east tunnel. A cliff walk was constructed between the western most of the two windows to the open mid-tunnel area.

    The tunnels were completed in 1920. Because of severe rockfall, however, the tunnel portals were faced in basalt masonry veneer in 1921. At the same time, the tunnels were partially lined with Port Orfocrd cedar lagging and timber sets. In 1938, the tunnel portals were widened to accomodate larger automobiles and transport trucks, and the tunnels were relined with cedar lagging and sets.

    Concerns over rockfall persisted since the tunnels' construction. In 1954, they were filled with rubble debris and bypassed in favor of a new water-level highway constructed adjacent to the Columbia River on dredged fill material. The tunnels were reopened in 1996 as part of restoration work on the HCRH State Trail section between Hood River and Mosier." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

    "The twin tunnels' combined length is 350 feet. The tunnels were constructed by A.D. Kern of Portland. The contract was let on January 7, 1919, and the work completed on April 4, 1921. The tunnels were lined with timber for support. ...   In addition, all four portals were protected by a finish of stone masonry. There was an observation galler y between the tunnels. The tunnels are closed and were filled in the early 1960s." [National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1983]

  • West Tunnel Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels (2000):   "This reinforced cellular concrete structure provides rockfall protection below basalt cliffs west of the west portal of the west Mosier tunnel." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

  • Mid-Tunnel Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels (1996):   "This reinforced cellular concrete structure providees rockfall protection n the open area between the Mosier Twin Tunnels for visitors to the Hood River to Mosier section of the HCRH State Trail, which is part of the CRH." [National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1996]

Penny Postcard, Mosier Twin Tunnels, ca.1941
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: West Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels, Mosier, Oregon. Penny Postcard, Real Photo, Divided Back, "Twin Tunnels, Columbia River Highway, near Mosier, Oregon.". B.S. Markham, The Dalles, Ore. Possibly a reprint. Card No.15. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Penny Postcard, Mosier Twin Tunnels, ca.1941
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: West Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels, Mosier, Oregon. Penny Postcard, Divided Back, "Twin Tunnels, "On the Columbia River Highway", Near Mosier, Oregon.". Photo by A.M. Prentiss. Published by The Rose City News Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #30. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Caption on back: "Twin Tunnels, about 70 miles from Portland, Oregon, are one of the out-standing features of the Columbia River Highway."
Penny Postcard, Mosier Twin Tunnels, ca.1941
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Mosier Twin Tunnels, Mosier, Oregon. Penny Postcard, Divided Back, "Twin Tunnels on Columbia River Highway Between Hood River & Mosier, Ore.". Postmarked 1941. Published by Pacific Novelty Co., San Francisco. Card #O-115. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


Mosier Tunnels in 1940 ...
From the Oregon State Archives "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon":

"MOSIER, 118.1 m. (95 alt., 192 pop.), at the confluence of Mosier Creek and the Columbia River, is in a small fruit growing section well known for its apple cider. The MOSIER TUNNELS, 119.5 m., one 261 feet and the other 60 feet long, often referred to as the Twin Tunnels, penetrate a promontory more than 250 feet above the river. West of this point the contrast between the barren, semi desert contours of eastern Oregon and the lushness of the Pacific Slope becomes apparent. "


Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail ...
The Mosier Twin Tunnels are located along Oregon's Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. [More]

Image, 2005, Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Walking towards the Mosier Twin Tunnels along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. View along east part of the trail, between Mosier and the Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Views ...

Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Stonework ...

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Stonework, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Stonework, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Catchment Structure ...
The restoration of the Mosier Twin Tunnels involved removal of the rock which had filled the tunnels, and the construction of a 700-foot-long "catchment structure" on the west end of the tunnels that utilizes cellular concrete, pea gravel and 25 foot anchor bars.

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking towards Catchment Structure, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Outside Walkway ...

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Outside Stairs and Walkway, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


Through the Tunnels ...
Gene, Riley, and Corey, members of my own "Corps of Discovery".
[More]

Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Corey, Riley, and Gene, entering East Portal, Mosier Twin Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Inside, Mosier Twin Tunnels, with Corey, Riley, and Gene. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mosier Twin Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Between the Tunnels, Mosier Twin Tunnels, with Corey, Riley, and Gene. Image taken September 18, 2005.
Image, 2005, East Portal, Mosier Tunnels, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Exiting East Portal, Corey, Riley, and Gene, Mosier Tunnels. Image taken September 18, 2005.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards". The "Penny Postcard" became a popular way to send greetings to friends and family. Today the "Penny Postcard" has become an image of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...




Columbia River GorgeReturn to
Menu
 






*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:
  • "a2zgorge.info" website, 2005;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2004, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;
  • State of Oregon Archivist website, 2005, "A 1940 Journey Across Oregon";


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
/Regions/Places/mosier_twin_tunnels.html
September 2008