- Sideling Hill
Name = Sideling Hill
Photo = SidelingHill I-68.jpg
Caption = Sideling Hill road cut - one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and indeed in the entire northeastern United States."--R.D. Conkwright [http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/brochures/sideling.html Geology of the Sideling Hill road cut] , by Maryland Geological Survey.] .
Elevation = 2,301 feet (616 m)
West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, USA
Coordinates = coord|39|43|09.08|N|78|17|01.41|W|region:US
USGS Paw Paw
First ascent =
Easiest route =
Sideling Hill is part of the
Allegheny Mountainsof the Appalachian Mountain Range (also considered part of the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians). It traverses West Virginia, Marylandand Pennsylvaniaand rises to its highest elevation of 2,301 feet (616 m) in Fulton County, Pennsylvaniafact|date=February 2007.
are exposed in this road cut. Although other exposures may surpass Sideling Hill in either thickness of exposed strata or in quality of geologic structure, few can equal its combination of both. There is an Exhibit Center to help provide the public with a better understanding of the geology of the cut. A pedestrian walkway bridge crosses I-68 for better access to the cut, along with a picnic area and rest area facilities.
tunnelthrough Sideling Hill is currently in its third phase of life. In the 1880s, a tunnel was partially bored through the mountain near Breezewood, Pennsylvaniaby the South Pennsylvania Railroad. The railroad project ceased, and the tunnel was left abandoned. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissionbegan constructing the Pennsylvania Turnpikeon the right-of-way of the old South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930s, the tunnel was completed.
The tunnel, which, at 6,782 feet, was the longest of the seven original turnpike tunnels, was used from the Turnpike's opening in 1940 until 1968. Due to increasing traffic on the highway, the turnpike commission began upgrading all of its two-lane tunnels. This project involved constructing twin bores for tunnels through the Allegheny, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, and Blue mountains. Tunnels under Laurel Hill, Rays Hill, and Sideling Hill were bypassed with new, four-lane highways climbing the adjacent hills.
The Sideling Hill bypass, completed at a cost of $17,203,000, opened on
November 26, 1968, bypassing the Sideling Hill tunnel and the nearby Rays Hill tunnel. The tunnels, along with connecting segments of four-lane highway, were used for many years as a testing facility for new highway technologies. In 2001, the tunnel was sold to the Southern Alleghenies Conservancyfor $1, which now operates it as a bike trail.
Sideling Hill Tunnel
Rays Hill Tunnel
Laurel Hill Tunnel
Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
* Sideling Hill Creek
* [http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/sidelinghill.html Sideling Hill Exhibit Center]
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