Saturday, May 19, 2012

My .......Zion Tunnel

ZION NATIONAL PARK - Engineers, historians and National Park System representatives gathered Friday for a dedication ceremony at Zion National Park recognizing the accomplishments of workers who built the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and Tunnel more than 80 years ago.

The American Society of Civil Engineers named the road and tunnel a national historic civil engineering landmark during the ceremony, a designation granted to more than 200 locations across the country but only the second in Utah, following the Salt Lake Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It is truly an engineering marvel," said park archaeologist and Cultural Resources Program Manager Sarah Horton. "There are two tunnels, the switchbacks and retaining walls. To create that highway at the time that it was (built) is truly amazing, and the time to get it done was quite fast."

Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth noted that the project, which created a highway that runs through the park, was completed in a relatively safe manner, although two workers died in accidents during the project.

"You think (about how) they did it in three years, and the kind of tools they had back then," Whitworth said. "This is recognizing a significant engineering feat."

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