|Interior of Alpine Tunnel-source unknown|
As stubborn webs cling to old timbers of the Alpine Tunnel so do red herrings cling to the web called the internet.
Throughout the years, as I have snooped around various websites that reference the tunnel, odd comments arise like the following: “The tunnel caved in from years of erosion.”
Other sites state “the tunnel has been sealed off for safety reasons.” Even Wikipedia, in its opening paragraph on the tunnel, refers to it as “sealed shut.”
It gets stranger from there as talk of explosives creep up. According to one jeep club, the “tunnel was closed (the entrances blown up) years ago.” Another site states, "The entrance to the Tunnel was sealed with dynamite many years ago.”
|West Portal 1989-Author's Collection|
Thankfully, Ray Rossman set the record straight. He commented, “There has not been any action using any explosives to seal the tunnel. All the closure action has been that of mother nature and the slow decay of the granite. The only action I have
authorized was placing a rather large boulder to prevent entry into the western portal.”
The real culprit in the end, then, is Mother Nature. Unfortunately, she may be doing more damage than the supposed dynamite might have.
In a later correspondence he remarked, “I have been monitoring the west portal closely and we continue to slowly lose the battle there….During the winter of 2002/2003 it appears that a portion of the tunnel on the western side collapsed. The natural repose of the tallas debris now goes straight back for about 20' right behind where the upper portion of the stone portal is located. Very
disheartening. For those lucky few to have seen the interior, I think they have glimpsed at a piece of history perhaps now gone from our view.”
Alas, the plot thickens, but at least the red herring-colored dynamite can be thrown back into the sea.
|Author at East Portal 1991|
Below are various websites with wacky statements about what "happened" to the tunnel:
Says west portal collapsed
Says west portal caved in
Covered by landslides:
Tunnel has been sealed
Tunnel has been sealed.
West sealed BECAUSE East Portal collapsed in 1992
Tunnel sealed by a cave in & plans to open part of tunnel
question about forest service blowing it up.
both sides blown up “tunnel was closed (the entrances blown up) years ago"