Jul. 13, 2011 at 7:49am
The Ruston Tunnel had it's last evening open to the public yesterday. I had a chance to cruise through a couple times and was downright touched that many other proud Tacomans did too. Horns honked up a storm as people drove through the passage and many slowed or stopped to take pictures. A man who stopped said he's been driving through that tunnel since the 1960s and asked if I could take a picture of him and family in front of it.
Here's a video of my drive through with a friend (and many other Tacomans) on its last night open:
For me, the tunnel is an accomplishment. I certainly didn't build the thing nor have anything to do with it other than driving through it but I did achieve something there. Icicle pictures. One year after a hard freeze I heard the leaky old structure would, at certain temperatures, sprout stalactites of ice. Though I missed stopping by that year I vowed to make it there "someday" when it happened again. And it did, in December, 2008. I drove my Subaru as far as I could go up a snowy Ruston Way then walked the rest to get to the icy tunnel. Looking back, I could've easily said "someday" again but that chance could've been forever dashed by this closing. So my accomplishment is doing what I said I would -- that I'll never forget.
Farewell, Ruston Tunnel, and thanks for the memories.
comments  | posted under construction, farewell, history, ruston tunnel, tacomaComments
by CassieInUP on 7/13/2011 @ 7:15am
|Funny, I was just having a conversation with a friend about the very same thing, with regards to re-purposing the tunnel's use. Why do conversations about how Tacoma does things so often start with "Why didn't they...?" Anyway, mini-me and I took the tour last night around 7. Sunny going in, pouring down rain coming out. Sort of appropriate, I think.|
by CaptainBritton on 7/13/2011 @ 7:52am
|Nice post, Kevin. Thanks for the documentation!
by The Jinxmedic on 7/13/2011 @ 8:35am
|They should leave it open and make it part of the Ruston Way pike path / jogging trail. It's a no-brainer, and won't cost money like filling it in would. Why does no one of authority in this town have any vision on reutilization of old structures?|
by KevinFreitas on 7/13/2011 @ 9:35am
|Totally agree @Jinxmedic. It's a true shame to lose this passage for all kinds of reasons. I'd far rather see them spend the fill dollars on reinforcing the structure a bit, adding back in those charming lamps along the top of the tunnel, and opening up to bikes/peds like you mention. RIP nonetheless.
by The Jinxmedic on 7/13/2011 @ 10:12am
|They just like to spend money unecessarily. That's all it is.|
by fredo on 7/13/2011 @ 3:43pm
|Rename it the "tunnel of reconciliation" This is where the Tacoma apologists could line up before entering the actual reconciliation park and collect their thoughts. Driving through the tunnel would be kind of like being reborn all pure again through a giant one world sized vagina.|
by The Jinxmedic on 7/13/2011 @ 3:57pm
by Mofo from the Hood on 7/13/2011 @ 10:33pm
|Thanks for the film KF.
This tunnel was the last surviving relic of Ruston's one-time industrial might. What a gritty hell hole that sight was...Big ol' chimney on the hill above the tunnel, and next to the road a patchwork of wood and tin siding and muck....
...Never thought that one day it would be possible for a fella to set up housekeeping on that site...
Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.
So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.
Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!