Today, March 8, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of the dedication and opening of the westbound bore of the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel is the highest vehicle tunnel in the world at 11,155 feet. Additionally, it is the longest mountain tunnel with a length of nearly 1.7 miles. Completion of this tunnel meant traffic no longer had to travel over Loveland Pass, a longer, steeper journey. However, semi trucks carrying hazardous materials are still required to take the alternate route. This is an attempt to minimize the fire potential inside the tunnel.
In good weather the scenic trek over Loveland Pass can be an enjoyable one. Climbing to a height of 11,992 feet above sea level, views are far and wide. At the summit, you can stop and enjoy a hike if you like. Be sure and bring your jacket, temperatures can be cool and the winds strong at that elevation all year long.
The Eisenhower Tunnel has made the journey from Denver across the Continental Divide a much easier trip. As a result, it grants access to many more people than ever before.