Tunnel Under Cedar City Wasn’t Built For Humans
I enjoy a good tunnel. There is something intriguing to me about a passageway underground, especially when it is in a city. I have explored uranium mines in Goblin Valley and the Bloomington Cave, which was terrifying, but I find the tunnels made for cars like the one through Zion just as interesting.
There seemed to be a time in America when they thought it was better to tunnel through something rather than dig it down or move around it. The sheep tunnel in Cedar City is an example of this time.
Sheep herders kept their animals grazing in the mountains above the city and would bring them down to be sheared and moved to other pastures. According to this story from SUU News there were tunnels to bring them in.
The Cedar Livestock Association, which was founded in 1924. The association’s deep roots in sheep herding are evident in Cedar City’s tunnel systems that run the length of Main Street. Sheep would be herded from the mountain, through the tunnels and into the basement of what is now known as Bulloch Drug to be sheared.
Sheep moving through underground tunnels is amazing.
With the same idea of moving livestock, there is a tunnel near the Walmart in Cedar City that goes underground for nearly a mile that was used to move sheep through and avoid traffic. Now it is filled with graffiti and puddles of water. Here are some pictures from inside.
Tunnels are fun and intriguing. I miss the days when the solution to a barrier was to start digging through it. Here’s to those who built the sheep tunnels of Cedar City.
Highway Used To Go Through A Tunnel In the Bluff in St. George
There’s another tunnel from this era right in the middle of St. George. It’s the Bigelow Tunnel, also referred to as the Middleton Tunnel. It was named after Thomas Bigelow, a race car driver out of Los Angeles, who convinced the city council at the time to dig the tunnel and create a better road through Southern Utah. That road eventually became Highway 91 and increased visitors to the area.
The tunnel is still there and can be seen going through the bluff on the North side of I-15 and across from the Red Cliffs Mall. It is now private property and the company that owns it uses it for storage.
Like I say, I wish they would have continued digging tunnels. There’s something invigorating and mysterious that happens when you are traveling through the middle of dirt and rock in darkness on a bright day.
They made a pedestrian tunnel under I-15 recently, which is pretty cool. Tunnels are great in a car and the bigger the mountain the better. I wish 700 South in St George continued through the Bluffs in both directions. I would go out of my way to take that underground passage every day.
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