Tunnel vision: Engineering marvel faces high-speed traffic

April 18, 2015 7:01 AM

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To begin with, the road was unlike anything most drivers had ever encountered in the United States: Four lanes of superhighway cutting from just west of Harrisburg to just east of Pittsburgh - straight, level and true. A road that for the first time in Pennsylvania history would bend the earth to its needs rather than the other way around, cutting travel time between the two cities by more than six hours.

Less than eight years earlier the state had embarked upon its first massive road-paving program — sold by then Gov. Gifford Pinchot as a means to "get the farmer out of the mud." Some of the men, and not just the old gaffers, who built the turnpike could remember when a road project simply entailed ...

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