Friday, May 13, 2016

Linen postcard: Cave Rock Tunnel along Lake Tahoe

This Genuine Curteich-Chicago linen postcard shows Cave Rock and its first tunnel, along the shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. The postcard was never mailed, but there's a note in pencil on the back that states:
Wed Aug 9
We expect to go thru here after a few minutes
The Cave Rock Tunnel consists of two tunnels along U.S. Route 50; the westbound tunnel (seen on the postcard in an early version) is 153 feet and the eastbound tunnel is 410 feet. The first tunnel was built in 1931, as part of a renovation of the Lincoln Highway. Work on the second tunnel did not begin until 1957.

The tunnels have been considered controversial among the Washoe people, who were the region's original inhabitants. According to Wikipedia:
"The Cave Rock area is considered sacred by the Washoe tribe. The Washoe tribal leaders were not consulted about the construction of either bore, and were upset about the perceived desecration of their tribal lands. Within the last decade, the Washoe Tribe has had a larger influence on Cave Rock and its historic preservation. In 2007, the Federal Government ruled on a precedent-setting case that has restricted activities around the tunnel, such as rock climbing."
Coincidentally, a $6 million Nevada Department of Transportation project to extend the westbound tunnel began this week. It will continue through this fall.

Here is the DOT's description of the project:
"The Nevada Department of Transportation is taking preventative measures to ensure the future safety of the traveling public within the Lake Tahoe Basin. As a result of large scale rock fall that occurred in early February 2015 and due to the threat of large diameter rock fall in the future, NDOT will construct a tunnel extension / rock fall shelter on the north side of the westbound Cave Rock Tunnel. This approximately 60' long, 27' tall, flat-topped structure will protect the traveling public by catching falling rocks all while blending into the natural surroundings with colors, patterns, and textures matching the adjacent rock faces.

Additionally, stormwater quality improvements will be made from approximately one mile north of Cave Rock at Milepost 8.4 through Milepost 11.4. Improvements include paved shoulders, new drop inlets, new sediment filtration systems, slope scaling, and barrier rail."
Here are a couple of DOT renderings of what the renovation will look like, upon completion:

1 comment:

  1. >"We expect to go thru here after a few minutes"
    You'd think they could have waited until they went through and shared their experience.