Cornell tunnel update

cornell tunnel

Road News

Drivers from our area who used to use Cornell to get to Portland have been asking when the tunnel repairs will be complete. We finally managed to get some information from Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).

cornell tunnel

Hannah Schafer, Interim Director of Communications and Public Involvement, said “The project is on schedule! The 1940s era WPA-constructed tunnels will not have any major changes to the beautiful stone masonry on their exterior, but the inside of the tunnels are getting “hydro-demolished.” Hydro-demolishing is essentially a high-powered pressure washer on an articulated arm that blasts away the failing concrete tunnel liner. Once the old concrete is removed, the new concrete lining will be shotcrete into place. Here’s some additional historic background on the tunnels.” [Be sure to click on the link to Tunnel 1 too! Browse around on this fascinating site for more “Living New Deal” information.]

The PBOT website just says the project will be completed “Spring 2022.” We asked if there was more definite info available now, and Schafer said, “Due to the complexity of this type of work, it is difficult to provide an exact completion date. Weather, COVID-related supply chain impacts, and other factors can also impact the timelines of our projects. We will share the date of the reopening of the tunnels when we have one and in advance of the opening.”