Oregon is rebuilding the 73-mile Historic Columbia River Highway, which runs through the beautiful Columbia River valley, as a bike and pedestrian trail. Check out this video of their plans to dig a new tunnel through a mountain along the river to complete the trail.

The planned about a quarter-of-a-mile Mitchell Point Tunnel would recreate the former tunnel on the site that was demolished to make room for the construction of Interstate 84 in the 1960s.

The old Mitchell Point tunnel. Photo from Oregon DOT.

The proposed tunnel — including plans to recreate the iconic “windows” — and associated trail connections along the five-mile Mitchell Point section of the trail are expected to cost $35 million. Funding has yet to be secured.

“Our goals of reclaiming that are going to be the most expensive aspect of the state trail segments but our hope is to one day be able to provide that experience,” says Kevin Price, Oregon Parks & Recreation district manager, in the video.

Oregon’s Mitchell Point tunnel plan is far and above any trail plans under development in the Washington DC region. Is there anywhere that our region could do the same to improve regional trail connectivity?

Edward Russell is an air transport reporter by day with a passion for all things transportation. He is a resident of Eckington and tweets frequently about planes, trains and bikes.