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This unassuming slanted roof, house-like structure at the foot of the mountain may appear like a private residence or perhaps a garage, but really is the entrance to the second longest highway tunnel and longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America. Located fifty miles southeast of Anchorage, near Portage Glacier, in the U.S. state of Alaska, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, also referred to simply as the Whittier Tunnel, connects the port city of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway. The 4,100 meter-long tunnel passes wholly under Maynard Mountain. It was built during the second World War, at the cost of $80 million, and is the first tunnel in the U.S. that allows automobiles to drive directly over the track area - a design that saved tens of millions of dollars compared to what would have cost if the tunnel was widened to allow the roadway to be separated from the track. The tunnel was named after Anton Anderson, an engineer for the United States army who played a principal role in the construction of the tunnel.

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A vehicle enters the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, North America’s longest combined rail-highway tunnel. Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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