Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Highway Replaces Newhall Auto Tunnel
Newhall, California


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Circa 1938 photo of Highway 6 (Sierra Highway), having just replaced the Newhall Auto Tunnel. The tunnel was located near the top of the grade south of present-day Eternal Valley Cemetery. Note the oil derrick to the right (west) of the highway, just south of the summit.

As the age of the automobile descended on the Newhall Pass, Beale's Cut proved to be too difficult a climb for this new mode of transportation. Therefore in 1910, the 435-foot-long Newhall Auto Tunnel was constructed a quarter-mile to the northwest of Beale's Cut. Just 17½ feet in width, the tunnel was quite narrow, making it difficult for two-way traffic to pass through.

By 1938, with increasing auto and truck traffic, the California Division of Highways determined it needed to be replaced. In July of that year, the mountain above the tunnel was blasted away, and a four-lane road was built above the level of the old tunnel. It was first known as Highway 6, then Highway 14, and finally as the present-day Sierra Highway. The cutout of the mountain where the tunnel was located can still be seen today on Sierra Highway at the crest of the Newhall Pass.


AP0832: 9600 dpi jpeg from copy print
NEWHALL (AUTO) TUNNEL, 1910-1938

See Also:
Newhall Grade

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Tunnel Opens 1910

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South Portal, 1914

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South Portal, 1914

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ca. 1914

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L.A. County Highways 1920

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Tinted Postcard, 1920s

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North Portal, 1920s

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South Portal, 1920s

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Tunnel Traffic, 1920s

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South Portal, 2-7-1926

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Aerial 1930

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South Portal Cut Lines, 1938

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Tunnel Being Replaced, 1938

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Last of the Tunnel, 1938

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Highway Replaces Tunnel, 1938

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Bronze Plaques 2001

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